A community prayer event and a separate unity event are planned in the coming days in Panola County.

Gary resident Mercy Mayo is hosting a community prayer for law enforcement Wednesday, July 1 at the Panola County courthouse. The event starts at noon.

“I can’t think of a better way to stop hate than to take a knee to our Lord in prayer,” Mayo wrote in a letter to the editor published Sunday. “I pray your heart tells you the same. If you can’t be at with us, then please take a moment wherever you are and pray. Our officers and our country need this.”

A separate community unity event is planned Sunday, July 5 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Lake Murvaul marina.

David Gradberg and Charleston Johnston, pastor of First United Smyrna Missionary Baptist Church out of Timpson, are putting on the unity event and will both speak. There will be singing as well.

“We want to promote that we’re all of one blood, and even though you may have different cultures, we’re all one big family, and we love each other through God,” Gradberg said.

Both will speak on community.

“We’re going to talk about the two things that make up community — one word is commune and one word is unity,” Gradberg said. “And you can’t have a commune when it comes to God’s children. You can’t be shut up and not reach out to the world, and you can’t be just inclusive with yourself, you have to include the world. Just because somebody’s not a believer or believes in God, you’ve still got to love them and pull them in.”

The event is come as you are, casual contemporary (no dress code, wear whatever). They are also doing a family ministry outreach called the Lakehouse out at the pavilion at Lake Murvaul through the summer on Sundays at 10:30 a.m.