“Stand Up For Justice”: Lexington Congregation Prays on Inauguration Day

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- This election was one of the most divisive in recent history. On Inauguration Day, some people across the country are protesting, rather than celebrating. That includes people in and around Lexington. Today, a congregation at a local church prayed together as the President took the oath of office.

People at Bluegrass United Church of Christ just wanted to be together as President Trump officially took office. They did not watch, instead they prayed, a reminder to embrace the change in leadership, even though they do not all approve of the new leader.

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For many in the congregation, the change in leadership brings fear for the future. Reverend Marsha Moors-Charles encourages her flock to embrace the new president, not necessarily approve of him, but accept his new role, and hold him accountable.

“As people of faith, called to stand up for justice, called to reconcile, called to love,” she said.

Love is one of the reasons Moors-Charles and her congregants worry about the next four years. The church is home to many people who identify as LGBTQ, including the reverend herself.  Congregation member Anthony Smallwood says Trump’s words don’t seem to be inclusive. He says he’s heard more stories of bigotry in the last year then in the last ten years.
“I’m worried. Hopeful, as President Obama told us to be. I’m hopeful, but I’m worried,” Smallwood said.

He says the service brought comfort, and motivation to move forward. To end their time together, the congregation wrote prayers for the country on flags and lit candles.

“I was lighting that candle as a prayer, sending that prayer up, saying let’s make this work,” Smallwood said.

Just hours after Trump took office Friday, a page on the White House website about LGBTQ rights disappeared. It’s not clear whether the page has been deleted or is just being restructured to fit the new administration, but several people have reacted online, worrying it’s a sign the Trump White House won’t be supportive of the gay community.

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at VSeltzer@wtvq.com. She looks forward to hearing from you!