Ef­fect­ing change through prayer

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - BY STEVEN WAR­BUR­TON News Staff

The South Amer­i­can coun­try of Suri­name was the fo­cus of this year’s World Day of Prayer.

At least two Glen­garry churches – St. Fin­nan’s Cathe­dral in Alexan­dria and St. Michael and All An­gels Angli­can Church in Maxville – hosted an event on the af­ter­noon of March 2. Both of them saw parishione­rs from in and around the county come in to pray for Suri­name and of­fer some sup­port.

The World Day of Prayer, now in its 98th year, is over­seen by the Women’s In­ter-Church Coun­cil of Canada (WICC), which cel­e­brated its 100th an­niver­sary in Jan­uary. Fri­day’s ser­vice was writ­ten by the women of Suri­name with lo­cal women read­ing the parts by proxy.

The ser­vice it­self started with praise – the women thanked God for their beau­ti­ful coun­try and the free­dom to prac­tise their faith – and then pre­sented var­i­ous items that sym­bol­ize the strug­gles of ev­ery­day life in Suri­name. One lady, for ex­am­ple, was a sin­gle mother of five chil­dren, strug­gling to make a liv­ing by mak­ing cas­sava bread and sell­ing it at the air­port.

It should be noted that the World Day of Prayer isn’t just a “thoughts and prayers feel good” event. The WICC ac­cepts of­fer­ings, which it uses to fund grants for var­i­ous projects that ben­e­fit women.

Last year, the WICC re­ceived 225 ap­pli­ca­tion for World Day of Prayer grants. Some of them are in On­tario. For in­stance, in Mil­ton, the Beloved Women As­so­ci­a­tion re­quests $5,000 to help Syr­ian refugee women de­velop their tal­ents and skills.

Else­where, in Selkirk, Man­i­toba, Sur­vivor’s Hope Crises Cen­tre Inc. is look­ing for $5,000 to ex­pand its sex­ual as­sault cri­sis in­ter­ven­tion ser­vices, and in Cameroon, the Lead­er­ship Im­prove­ment and So­cial Ad­vo­cacy Cen­tre re­quests $4,300 to res­cue girls and stop gen­i­tal mu­ti­la­tion.

STEVEN WAR­BUR­TON PHOTO

WORLD DAY OF PRAYER: Glen Robert­son res­i­dent Carmelle Ha­gen was at St. Fin­nan’s Cathe­dral in Alexan­dria where she par­tic­i­pated in the World Day of Prayer.

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