Good Shepherd Lutheran in Fox Chapel to host World Day of Prayer

Tawnya Panizzi
| Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Bridging gaps is the aim of this year's World Day of Prayer.

Hosted by Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Fox Chapel, the March 7 event will bring together people of all faiths to “Make Streams in the Desert.”

“It brings together people from all churches to recognize our need to know that the world is becoming smaller,” said the Rev. Bob Musser, pastor at Good Shepherd along Powers Run Road. “We need to become more aware of the world's problems.”

Originated more than a century ago, the World Day of Prayer is an ecumenical worship service that began simply as a way to observe a common day of prayer.

Services begin at sunrise in countries across the globe and follow the sun to each continent for a full day of celebration. Each year, a different country's committee writes the program and the host church is rotated throughout the communities of the Fox Chapel Area School District. This year, the focus will be on Egypt.

“The service invites us to search out streams,” said parishioner Barb McQuaid. “It's a call for us to bridge those things that divide us and find unexpected results.”

Portions of the service will be acted out, with nine different speaking parts. It is written to involve several people and spur socialization.

“Part of it is an exploration of Jesus' conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well,” said McQuaid, explaining a parable about faith and compromise of religious differences.

“It is an opportunity for deep dialogue and reflection about the borders that we have to cross to find the streams of living water.”

In past years, the World Day of Prayer has attracted 120 people to Good Shepherd Lutheran. It last hosted the event in 2008 when the focus was on Guyana.

“We get a nice turnout despite it being in the middle of a weekday,” said McQuaid, a member of the church for 65 years.

“We always are open to the idea and excited when it's an ecumenical activity. We love to pull churches together and this is a big way to do it.”

So far, the following churches have committed to participating: Aspinwall Presbyterian, Fox Chapel Presbyterian, Faith United Methodist, St. Scholastica, St. Joseph and St. Edward.

Musser said there will be music, discussions about what life is like in today's Egypt and a lunch that replicates Egyptian fare.

Area residents will celebrate with those in 170 countries to learn more about Egypt's culture.

“The goal is to be exposed to a different country, learn how they worship and learn what their concerns are and how they relate to their faith,” McQuaid said.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at

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