WESTMINSTER -- Joined by faith in the power of prayer, about 100 county citizens gathered Thursday at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to observe the National Day of Prayer.
The ceremony by the courthouse, the first in memory in Carroll since the day was nationally recognized in 1951, brought together people of different faiths and represented a cross section of the county's people.
"The true reality of mankind is spiritual," said Kathy Tomarelli, a member of the local Bahai church. "We need food to grow and develop, and daily prayer is that nourishment."
Tomarelli's prayers for the family compared the community to a family, in that both need unity to survive.
"Let all mankind dwell as the waves of one sea, the stars in one firmament, the fruit of one tree," Tomarelli prayed. "The nature of the family is that if it is full of love and agreement, nothing will stop it in its struggle for advancement. If it is wrought with enmity and hate, destruction and disintegration are inevitable."
Mary Strong, principal of Uniontown Elementary, prayed for the educational system and said she felt humble speaking before the group.
"I felt a bit like Moses," she said, referring to the Old Testament account of when the Hebrew leader told God he was not a great orator. God replied that he would give Moses the words to use.
Strong went on to say that she was led to speak about when Jesus turned water to wine at the wedding in Cana.
"He said to bring him the containers of water, and the servants hesitated a bit," she said. "But they were told to go about and do as they were told. That's what we have to do, just go about and do what the Lord tells us to do."
In praying for the county's farmers, Robert Bounds of Uniontown asked that barriers such as import taxes and tariffs be lowered so that American food could be sent to the world's starving children.
"Help our ag leaders fight these import taxes so that the children can receive the food that will meet their needs," he said. "Let each of us remember that from the start of the food chain to the end, it is you that provides for our needs."
The medical profession was represented by Dr. Karl Green, a Westminster pediatrician, who prayed that God would guide the hearts and hands of county doctors.
"Let us remember to live according to your word seven days a week and that we need to be more like Jesus, the great healer," he said.
Other prayers were offered by Sen. Larry E. Haines, who prayed for government; Paul Taylor, a C&P employee who prayed for county workers; and Rachelle Hurwitz, who brought a Jewish viewpoint to the ceremony.