It began with a few phone calls among a few people – most of them pastors – wanting to get together and talk candidly about problems they felt were attributing to a festering resentment in the parish.
The initial conversations have subsequently evolved since February into a committed bunch of residents wanting to bring people together – to help them see that, despite varying skin colors and home addresses, they have much in common, said Samuel Jackson, chaplain with the Morehouse Parish Sheriff's Office.
On Saturday morning the Ecumenical Task Force in conjunction with the sheriff's office chaplains corp. has arranged a Greet and Meet Barbecue luncheon for all parish pastors, law enforcement officers and spouses.
The event, free of charge, runs from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at St. Paul Church of God In Christ at 916 Collinston Road in Bastrop and Oak Hill Baptist Church, located directly across the street.
“We want to have events that demonstrate that we can all walk, play and pray together in harmony,” and this is one example, Jackson said.
Jackson said that as long as racial divisions persist and discriminations remain over whether people live within or outside the city limits, then efforts for the collective parish to see its unemployment rate drop below double digits and for economic prosperity to emerge are going to be undermined.
He called it a “defeatist attitude.”
“What we want to see happen is a paradigm shift. We want for us all to better utilize our best resources, but we want to see this happen as one group.
“We need to get along as one community,” Jackson said.
For more information about the event call Jackson at 547.8357.