Storm cancels prayer concert

Event was to show support for victims of terrorists attacks

September 25, 2001|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

A downpour and high winds forced the cancellation last night of the Concert of Prayer, an outdoor event planned by 25 Westminster-area churches in a show of support for the victims of the terrorist attacks Sept. 11.

"God Bless America" flashed on signs along Route 140 in Reese, where organizers had planned to stage the outdoor rally on the fire department's carnival grounds. They had set up the stage and lighting before storms passed through the area last night.

"We're disappointed but we're just going to go home and pray," said Phil Dell of Finksburg, who showed up with his wife, Yvonne, and their 10-year-old son Greg. "I think they'll definitely reschedule. I know the fire hall people will work with them. They're very community-oriented."

The event had been planned to draw the community together in petitions for the nation and to remember the more than 6,000 victims in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. Organizers had planned to use the Pledge of Allegiance, hymns, patriotic anthems, Scripture and reflection last night.

Yvonne Dell said she had been looking forward to praying with the community. The Dells said they planned to return when the event is rescheduled. Organizers were unsure last night when the event would be held but vowed it would be soon.

"The Lord always has a plan and maybe the plan is there will be more people next time," said Commissioner Robin Bartlett Frazier, who expected to attend the rally with Commissioner Donald I. Dell (no relation to the Dell family of Finksburg). "There is still much to pray for."

Members of the Reese board of directors said they would offer the fairgrounds again. The fire hall holds 300 but organizers had expected many more and decided to hold the rally outdoors.

"All over America, everybody is mourning these events that have definitely changed the course of history," said Sen. Larry E. Haines, leader of Carroll's legislative delegation, who was to give the keynote address. "We need to pray. We need to ask the Lord for his help." The Rev. David Sulcer, pastor of Westminster Church of God, organized the event. He said he wanted a timely public and prayerful response to the attacks.

"This is a critical time in our nation," he said. "We need to join hearts and hands and get hold of the blessings of God. When God's people pray, anything is possible."

Businesses had lent equipment and U.S. flags. Speakers and soloists had cleared their calendars. Pastors planned to take their themes from the Lord's Prayer, its words familiar to Christian denominations.

"We have just seen evil that is more real than we could ever imagine and we all need a savior," said the Rev. Joe Ready, pastor of Liberty Church of Maryland.

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