Myrtle Beach organizations providing open safe for healing during troubling times

The Asher Theatre opened its doors to community members Friday to come and pray.
The Asher Theatre opened its doors to community members Friday to come and pray.
Updated: Jun. 5, 2020 at 11:25 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Across the nation and the state, you’ve been seeing headlines about COVID-19 and, more recently, images of protests in response to the death of George Floyd.

Some organizations are stepping up in a difficult time to provide a place for people to talk and work through their pains.

Dr. Grace Stephens owns the Asher Theatre and is the founder of Global Christian Professional Women’s Association. She partnered with local organizations to host the ‘Night of Prayer: A Time For Healing’ event Friday night inside of the Asher Theatre.

The event provided an open and safe space for people to pray and heal.

“To get over whatever it is they’re feeling, any anxiety or illness," Stephens said. "People have recently lost relatives and friends. We have a lot of unrest going on with the Floyd situation. So we’re just wanting to be a safe place for [people to come].”

Stephens said she hopes everyone that attended the prayer event left feeling empowered to keep going, heal and never give up on their life purpose.

“[I hope they’re saying yes, I’m hopeful, optimistic and I’m going to be able to go back into my community and help them feel the same way," Stephens said.

It’s not just the Asher Theatre cultivating a safe space for healing; so is the city of Myrtle Beach.

On Sunday, June 7, the city is hosting the “Beachside Chats" event at the Chapin Memorial Park at 6 p.m., allowing people to peacefully come together and talk about real-life issues, including race.

Cookie Goings is the neighborhood services director for the city. She made the decision to organize Beachside Chats after talking with people in the community who want to understand the hardships some people are facing

“Not in the boardroom, not behind closed doors, we’re going to do this openly," Goings said. "Even if you don’t understand the aspects of what is happening now, even if you come to Chapin and you’re just a bystander, I promise you’ll learn something. Healing is about just hearing what I’m saying and what I’m feeling. And healing is not just for me, it’s for everybody that will be in this space on Sunday.

Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune said the city is an ally for the community and supports having additional peaceful conversations about these issues in a safe space for the community.

“It is a continual discussion that will be ongoing,” Bethune said."And that is the way we affect change, by opening up the lines of communication and have real meaningful dialogue. That’s when real change occurs ."

Those attending “Beachside Chats” are asked to wear a mask and practice social distancing.

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