National Day of Prayer to be marked in Greencastle May 6

PAT FRIDGEN

The National Day of Prayer is an annual event for Americans of all faiths to take time to pray for the nation and its leaders. It was established by an Act of Congress as a day to call the entire nation to prayer. The NDP Task Force focuses specifically on promoting the need to pray for the nation and those in positions of cultural influence.

This year’s theme is “For Such a Time as This” based on scripture Nahum 1:7, which states “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.”

Greencastle-Antrim National Day of Prayer will be observed Thursday, May 6 from 11 a.m. to noon in the Family Life Center of the First United Methodist Church, 45 N. Washington St. A variety of topics, music and Scriptures will be included in the program. Participants will be Boy Scout Troop 287, Greencastle mayor Robert Eberly, Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joel Fridgen, Rev. Wayne Warren, Mrs. Robert (Dottie) Crider, veteran Merritt Hammond, and senior high math teacher and advisor to Christian athletes Ken Shull. Music will be by Vonnie Wingert and prayers by Rev. Stacey Crawford.

The outdoor, half-hour observance will be in front of borough hall, across the street from the church, at 12:15, with Rev. William DeHaas. In the event of inclement weather, this portion will be held under the carport of Evangelical Lutheran Church, at the corner of East Madison and North Washington streets.

School youth may attend the National Day of Prayer by submitting written permission from home to school officials. Permission slips are available at school.

The day is co-sponsored by the Greencastle-Antrim Women’s Fellowship and the Greencastle-Antrim Ministerium. The 2010 observance is the 15th year for NDP in Greencastle. The planning committee included G-AWF members Janice Bartles, Lorraine Hess, Gloria Stahl, Marquita Storms, Helen Gearhart, Jean Zimmerman and Ministerium member Rev. Daivd Rawley.

Because of the faith of many of the founding fathers, public prayer and national days of prayer have a long-standing and significant history in American tradition. Since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the call to prayer has continued, including President Lincoln’s proclamation of a day of “humiliation, fasting and prayer” in 1863. In 1952, a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Harry Truman, declared an annual, national day of prayer.

In 1988 the law was amended and signed by President Ronald Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of each May. Each year, the president signs a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day. Firmly rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition, the National Day of Prayer Task Force, under the direction of the national chairman, Shirley Dobson, seeks to promote awareness, not only of this significant yearly event, but ultimately to dependence on God. The first Thursday of May is a significant day when Americans lay aside differences and join in acknowledging God.