Faithful to mark day of prayer

`Chance to stand up in a public place, affirm our belief '

Carroll County

May 02, 2001|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Carroll residents will join Americans across the country tomorrow to observe the 50th annual National Day of Prayer.

The observance will begin at noon at Carroll County Courthouse Park on Willis Street. Carroll residents have participated publicly in the prayers for 10 years. The crowd has grown steadily to about 100, many of whom spend their lunch hour in prayer.

"This is a chance to stand up in a public place, affirm our belief and look around us at others, who are proclaiming they believe in God and prayer," said Marcia Reinhart, who has organized the Westminster event since 1991.

National organizers have set 12:30 p.m. for the simultaneous recitation throughout the country of a prayer written by the Rev. Billy Graham, honorary chairman of the 2001 event.

In a brief petition, Graham expresses thanks for "blessings far beyond what we deserve" and calls for "a new era for America."

"We will all be praying in the words of Reverend Graham at the same time all around the country," Reinhart said. "We are asking those who cannot attend to say the prayer at their desks or kitchen tables."

Pastors from 29 area churches have endorsed the 2001 theme, "One Nation Under God." The 45-minute ceremony will include petitions for the military, police, farmers, government workers and youth.

"We need public and private prayer," said the Rev. Franklin Miller of Finksburg, whose petition will focus on families. "This is an opportunity for people of faith to come together."

Veteran Harry Perrine of Westminster will offer prayers for the military.

"All of us need prayer," Perrine said. "I consider it an honor and privilege to pray for the military, to verbalize out loud for those who are vital to protecting the American ideal."

For those unable to attend the noon service, a second observance will be held at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Carroll County Career and Technology Center, 1229 Washington Road, Westminster.

"This is an opportunity to see each other's faces in prayer and to know that those outside our home congregations are praying for the same things that we are," said Connie Hoge, who is organizing the evening service.

Information: 410-848-3360.

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