Churches pre­pare for Na­tional Day of Prayer

Evening ser­vices be­ing held

Cecil Whig - - RELIGION - By JANE BELLMYER

jbellmyer@ce­cil­whig.com

— Ce­cil County churches are work­ing to­gether Thurs­day to par­tic­i­pate in the 65th Na­tional Day of Prayer.

How­ever, this year some have moved the cer­e­mony to evening hours.

“Hope­fully, we can draw more peo­ple,” said Eileen Viars, pres­i­dent of the Ch­e­sa­peake City Ec­u­meni­cal As­so­ci­a­tion and or­ga­nizer of the event to be held be­gin­ning at 6:30 p.m. at Pell Gar­dens in Ch­e­sa­peake City.

For the past six years, CCEA hosted a noon cer­e­mony fea­tur­ing prayers for the com­mu­nity, lead­er­ship, of­fi­cials, busi­nesses, ed­u­ca­tion and more. The lunchtime of­fer­ing drew a small turnout.

This is the sec­ond year that Grace Bi­ble Chapel, lo­cated at 1949 Biggs High­way near Ris­ing Sun, has hosted a night­time Na­tional Day of Prayer event. Becky Brewer said or­ga­niz­ers want ev­ery-

RIS­ING SUN

one to at­tend that ser­vice, which will also be­gin at 6:30 p.m.

“We want it to be a com­mu­nity event,” she said Tues­day. “Our na­tion really needs prayer.”

“Wake Up Amer­ica!” is this year’s theme, with the cen­tral scrip­ture com­ing from the first line of Isa­iah 58, “Shout it aloud, do not hold back.”

Na­tional Day of Prayer be­gan as a move­ment in 1952, but be­came law in 1988 when Pres­i­dent Ronald Reagan signed a bill des­ig­nat­ing the first Thurs­day in May as Na­tional Day of Prayer.

Ch­e­sa­peake City United Methodist Charge, St. Joseph Par­ish, Bo­hemia Wes­leyan, First Pres­by­te­rian, St. Basil Church, Au­gus­tine Par­ish, Bethel AME, Star of Beth­le­hem, Pe­cometh Min­istries and Meet­ing Ground are par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Ch­e­sa­peake City event.

In Ris­ing Sun, First Bap­tist Church of Per­ryville, First Bap­tist Church of North East, Conowingo Bap­tist and Ris­ing Sun Church of the Nazarene have joined with Grace Bi­ble Chapel.

In North East, Haven Com­mu­nity Church of North East, lo­cated at 48 Flint Drive, will hold a ser­vice at 6 p.m. Thurs­day to ob­serve the Na­tional Day of Prayer. For this non­de­nom­i­na­tional church, it will be their first ever ser­vice mark­ing the day.

Viars ex­pects this year’s Na­tional Day of Prayer to of­fer a pow­er­ful night of prayer.

“We’ll be pray­ing for the things that are so needed in our area and through­out the world,” she said.

Pell Gar­dens is on the water­front in Ch­e­sa­peake City. How­ever, if the weather does not co­op­er­ate, Viars said the ser­vice would be re­lo­cated Trin­ity United Methodist Church, lo­cated at 450 Third St. in Ch­e­sa­peake City.

Ser­vices will in­clude a time of mu­sic and wor­ship. Af­ter a key prayer is of­fered from the pul­pit, small groups gather for a few min­utes to pray specif­i­cally for that is­sue.

“But ba­si­cally it’s a time of prayer,” Brewer said.”We’re really ex­cited to see what God does through this.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF BECKY BREWER

Af­ter hear­ing the speaker’s prayer, small groups con­tinue to pray dur­ing last year’s Na­tional Day of Prayer ser­vice at Grace Bi­ble Chapel near Ris­ing Sun.

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