Hundreds gather at UMC’s Park and Pray event to honor healthcare workers

Updated: Apr. 25, 2020 at 10:52 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Hundreds of families got in their cars and drove to UMC to pray for health care workers at UMC’s Park and Pray event on Saturday night.

The public was invited to park in the lots north and south of 10th Street and listen to a 15-minute service played on four different radio stations. At the end of the service, cars, including those of Lubbock Fire and Rescue, EMS and Lubbock Police, flashed their lights and honked their horns for 45 seconds.

Larry Cothrin, director of pastoral care at UMC, helped organize the event. He wanted this to be a way for people of all religious backgrounds to unite and offer prayers.

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“Our staff is dealing with a lot of pressure up there in the events that are going on. They are trying to do the best they can and we wanted to show support. We thought it would be great if the city wanted to come and the community could say, 'Hey we support you,’” Cothrin said.

Sarah Pena, a UMC employee, decided to bring her family to the event to show she supports her workplace and their endeavors during unpredictable times.

“I think it’s really great to show the strength and power of praying and lifting up the staff and I think that’s what we’re looking for. It’s to not only pray for the staff but for those who are sick and need the help,” Pena said. “UMC is really supportive of medical staff. They love nurses and physicians that are here and they show that every day. I think it’s really neat to show the community that as well because UMC is so strong in supporting the medical field.”

Viewers tuned in to listen to UMC’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Funderburk, give opening remarks, over the radio, heard prayers given by Larry Cothrin, Reverend Wendell Davis, Pastor of Lyons Chapel Baptist Church, and former member of the UMC Board of Managers.

“This event is a wonderful opportunity for Lubbock to show the medical staff, employees of UMC and all healthcare workers the tremendous support and appreciation of our community,” said Mark Funderburk, UMC CEO. “Although in separate vehicles, Park and Pray provides all those in attendance an invitation to come together and offer up prayers to Almighty God on behalf of frontline healthcare workers and first responders in Lubbock and beyond. Prayer is powerful, and prayer is effective. We will be in separate cars but of one purpose.”

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