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Odessa American: Group plans event to promote unity between Odessa, Midland

Helping the Permian Basin reach its potential as a region and forming a spirit of cooperation is the aim of a group of about 25 to 30 people from Odessa and Midland.

The genesis of the group was when Patrick Payton, senior pastor of Stonegate Fellowship, read the book “If You Can Keep It,” by Eric Metaxas. Payton said the book talks about the “golden triangle” of faith, virtue and freedom.

Payton said he sent emails out to friends of his in Odessa and Midland and offered to buy them a “cheap lunch.” He asked them to buy the book and gave them a couple of months to read it.

“Then we sat down and I said I don’t know what I want to do, or what we should do but my idea is maybe we could bring Eric Metaxas in and we could maybe start changing the conversation and that started it,” Payton said.

The idea, to steal a line from businessman Collin Sewell is “let’s grow up into who we are.”

“If we’re the world’s best in one of the most important places in the world for oil and gas, let’s be as great on top of the ground as we are at getting stuff from underneath the ground,” Payton said. “That takes a mindset shift in the way we perceive ourselves and think about ourselves.” … read more here