Brite Divinity School students give opening prayer at Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo

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Eight students from the Brite Divinity School were chosen to pray over hundreds of rodeo fans at this year’s Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.

Dawn Patterson-Hood, who is finishing up her doctorate degree in pastoral theology and pastoral care at Brite, gave the opening prayer at Thursday night’s ‘TCU day’ rodeo.

She said she wasn’t too nervous but that it was a unique experience to pray among rodeo fans.

“I work as a chaplain as well so public prayer is pretty common for my job,” Patterson-Hood said. “It is not out of the ordinary for me to say prayers among people I am not familiar with.”

Patterson-Hood emphasized justice and relief for those who are suffering in her prayer.

Maddy Bilder, senior film-TV-digital media major, watched Patterson-Hood’s prayer and said it was refreshing and touched on a wide range of subjects.

Sophomore early childhood education major Katie Coleman said Patterson-Hood’s prayer was very fitting for the rodeo scene.

“I thought that it was really nice and traditional, but talked about all aspects of the rodeo,” Coleman said. “It is easy to have fun here, but also important that everyone stays safe.”

Will Brown, who is completing his last semester at Brite, gave the opening ceremony prayer at the rodeo on Jan. 21 and plans to speak again at the rodeo on Monday.

Brown said he felt honored to be invited to pray at such an exciting venue and his prayer provided a positive message to everyone in the audience despite their background.

“Everybody is there to have a good time and we all come from a number of backgrounds coming into that setting and it’s not about the backgrounds, it’s about everybody having a good time,” Brown said.

Brite students are allowed to personalize their prayer as long as it includes three points: encompass people of all faiths and backgrounds, pray for all participants and pray for those serving in the military, Brown said.

The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo will be hosting events through Saturday, and Brite students will be providing the opening ceremony prayer at the rodeo events on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.