Greencastle-Antrim to mark its 20th annual National Day of Prayer

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

The National Day of Prayer will be observed in Greencastle on Thursday, May 5, with an 11 a.m. service at the Family Life Center of First United Methodist Church, 45 N. Washington St. A variety of topics, music and scriptures will be included in the one-hour program.

The theme is “Wake Up America” based on Isaiah 58:1, which says “Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voices like a trumpet.”

Greeters will include Lorraine Hess, Doris Oberholzer, Donna Greifzu, Annabelle Henry, Esther Walck and Dorcas Gearhart.

Elements and participants include: prelude, Patti Divelbiss; presentation of flags and Pledge of Allegiance, Trail Life USA Otterbein United Brethren Church; welcome and opening prayer, Associate Pastor Cameron Smith of host church; announcements, Gloria Stahl; special music, Dr. J. Frederick Davison; and comments, Rev. David Rawley.

Prayers will be offered for the following categories: Government, Frank Webster, president of Greencastle Borough Council; Business, Shane Izer, employee at Graphics Universal; Churches, Pastor Kristopher Sledge of the State Line United Methodist Church; Families, Amy Gour, mother of three children; Education system, Dotti Zimmerman, former physical education teacher; Military, Steve Sanders, U.S. Army colonel, retired.

Additional prayers will be available by the Greencastle Antrim Ministerium members in the youth room immediately following the service.

Students may attend this National Day of Prayer observance with written permission from home.  These permission forms are available at the school offices.

A half-hour outdoor observance will follow in front of borough hall, located across the street from the church, beginning at 12:15 p.m. The leader will be Vic Miller, pastor at Greencastle Foursquare Gospel Church. If it rains, this prayer time will be held under the carport of Evangelical Lutheran Church.

The National Day of Prayer is sponsored by the Greencastle-Antrim Women’s Fellowship and Greencastle-Antrim Ministerium and will be celebrating its 20th year observance in Greencastle.  The planning committee includes G-AWF members, co-leaders Janice Bartles and Gloria Stahl, Lorraine Hess,  Jenn Robertson, Jean Zimmerman, Donna Greifzu, Doris Oberholzer and Pastor David Rawley.

The observance 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.  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 through history, including President Abraham 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 May. The National Day of Prayer Task Force, under the direction of national chairman Shirley Dobson and 2016 Honorary Chairman, Dr. Tony Evans, seeks to promote an awareness that this first Thursday of May is a significant day when Americans lay aside differences and join in acknowledging God.