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Connellsville to observe National Day of Prayer

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Friday, April 26, 2013, 6:12 p.m.

Connellsville will join communities across the nation on Thursday in observing the National Day of Prayer.

This nondenominational program dates back to 1775 when the First Centennial Congress called for a National Day of Prayer. In 1863 Abraham Lincoln called for such a day and in 1952 Congress established National Day of Prayer as an annual event by joint resolution, signed into law by President Harry Truman. In 1988 the law was amended and signed by President Ronald Reagan designated the National Day of Prayer as the first Thursday in May.

The program in Connellsville, organized and sponsored by the Connellsville Area Ministerial Association will be held at Lions Square beginning at 11:45 a.m. with an opening by Connellsville Councilman Tom Karpiak.

A welcome will then be given to all in attendance by Pastor Brian Higbee of City Church of Connellsville. A prayer for the nation will be offered by the Rev. James Turnbull of Christian Missionary Alliance.

The Rev. Don Smith of World Christian Outreach Ministries and president of the CAMA said this year's National Day of Prayer theme verse is from Matthew 12:21, which reads, “In His name the nations will put their trust.”

“Prayer for our nation and for our leaders has always been an important part of the religious landscape of these United States of America. It is vital that such prayers continue to be offered, not just on this particular day but on each and every day. And not just by Christians but by people of all faiths,” said the Rev. Bob Lubic of the Catholic Churches of Connellsville, who will offer remarks during Thursday's observance.

Music will be provided by the Geibel Catholic Chamber Ensemble, directed by Nick Bell. Prayer for state leaders will be given by the Rev. Dave Ealy of Wesley United Methodist Church.

Prayer for Fayette County leaders will be given by the Rev. Matt Goldsberry of Calvary Assembly of God Church.

“With all the events that have recently occurred in our nation in Boston and West Texas, all the more reasons that a National Day of Prayer is a time to come together for different churches, people of faith and even no faith, to lift up our nation, its leaders, our state, county, and cities in prayer to seek wisdom and help, to remember the sacrifices of many and the service of many others such as law enforcement, firefighters and first responders. This is not a political event of any nature. It is a proclamation that says to all we know wherein and whom our strength and help lies in,” Goldsberry said.

A vocal selection will be given by Yvonne Goldsberry.

Prayer for city Leaders will be given by the Rev. Suzanne Zampella of the Connellsville Presbyterian Church and a prayer for active service men and women and comments will be given by Tom McFadden, secretary of the Connellsville Veterans Commission.

A military salute by Connellsville Veterans Commission will include VFW Post 21, American Legion Post 301 and Trotter American Legion Post 762.

Prayer for families will be offered by the Rev. Will Hough of First Baptist Church. Prayer for EMS, law enforcement and firefighters will be given by the Rev. Nelson D. Confer of Connellsville Church of God.

“With what we've been through with Boston and in fact here and everywhere, our nation sure needs prayer. The first responders never know what they're getting into when they're called,” Hough said.

Prayer for city pastors will be given by the Rev. Raymond Hill of Otterbein United Methodist Church.

Closing music will be presented by Geibel Catholic Chamber Ensemble followed by benediction and closing remarks by the Rev. Matt Goldsberry, vice president of CAMA.

“This is a time when we can see our nation is in dire distress, I think the least we can do is gather together, all denominations, one day out of the year, and pray for our nation,” Smith said.

Nancy Henry is a freelance writer.

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