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Richland church prepares to host World Day of Prayer Service March 7

| Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, 9:01 p.m.

Expect to see about 80 women from assorted Christian denominations during the World Day of Prayer Service opening at 9 a.m. March 7 at St. Richard Roman Catholic Church in Richland.

Around the globe, beginning at dawn that day, women will gather in their respective lands to invoke God's grace on their efforts to advance justice and peace.

“That means the world is covered for 24 hours in prayer,” said Kathy Csellar of Richland, a member of St. Thomas-in-the-Fields Anglican Church. Each year, a committee of women from a different country write the worship service observed around the world, always on the first Friday in March.

“They also have a slide show,” said Csellar, a World Day of Prayer participant for more than two decades. “You learn what the country looks like ... the problems.”

Women from Egypt wrote this year's World Day of Prayer worship service. Participants will learn about Egyptian history and cultural diversity.

At St. Richard Church, event organizers will exhibit items, such as papyrus and jewelry, collected during trips to Egypt.

“We have people bringing artifacts. We're going to have a display table,” said Fran Jocuns of Richland, organizer of this year's World Day of Prayer service at St. Richard Roman Catholic Church.

Women from four area churches — the First Presbyterian Church of Bakerstown; Bakerstown United Methodist Church, Trinity Lutheran Church and St. Richard Catholic Church — annually organize the Richland area's observance of World Day of Prayer.

Each church hosts the worship service every four years.

“We meet at 9 o'clock in the morning. From 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., there's fellowship,” Jocuns said. “The program begins at 10 a.m., and probably will go until 11 or 11:30 a.m. It's not a long program.

“The Methodist church had it last year,” Jocuns said. “I think we had about 80 people.”

During the service, multiple speakers will read from a prepared program that weaves prayers, responses, hymns and Scripture passages.

Csellar, also organist and choir director at Cross Roads Presbyterian Church in Pine, will lead and accompany the hymns.

Jocuns' belief in the power of prayer led her to first become involved with World Day about 15 years ago.

“People don't take time to pray,” Jocuns said. “Personally, I feel that all these women feel the same way I do, that prayer and working together are the only things that are important to women. … Women help one another. Women bring a lot of causes to the front.”

The theme for the 2014 World Day of Prayer is “Streams in the Desert,” a title inspired by the words of the Old Testament prophet Isaiah: “I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert.”

Participants also will ponder and explore the conversation — recorded in Scripture — between Jesus Christ and a Samaritan woman seeking to draw drinking water from a well.

“Jesus and the woman were able to transcend their religious and cultural differences, and build a common ground that then empowered the woman to bring change to her community,” states a public service announcement from offices of World Day of Prayer USA.

World Day of Prayer USA, which coordinates observances in the United States, promotes justice and equality for women through prayer, partnerships, service and celebration.

The international motto for World Day of Prayer is “informed prayer leads to prayerful action.”

Donations collected during this year's World Day of Prayer worship services in the United States will benefit World Day of Prayer USA and families in Egypt — and around the world — victimized by poverty, violence and injustice.

Women, men and children are invited to observe World Day of Prayer. Coffee and coffee cake will be served during the opening hour of fellowship at 9 a.m. March 7 in the social hall of St. Richland Roman Catholic Church, 3841 Dickey Road. For information, call 724-443-6244.

Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or

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