Thursday, June 4, 2009

Day of prayer unites many across Southeastern N.C.

Day of prayer unites many across Southeastern N.C.
By Amanda Greene

Published: Sunday, May 31, 2009 at 11:12 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, May 31, 2009 at 11:12 p.m.

Carrying a red flag bisected with a diagonal black bar – the flag of her native Trinidad and Tobago – Lisa Hamilton gazed and smiled at the people applauding as she and dozens of volunteers walked around the basketball court at Trask Coliseum Sunday. But the event wasn’t an off-season basketball game.

The flag bearers carried the symbols representing many nations of the world for the second Global Day of Prayer that focuses on praying for our nation, world or specific causes.

The event was sponsored by the new nonprofit Pray Wilmington, Inc. About 1,000 people attended this year’s two-hour event that included collective prayers, individual prayers and worship music.
“This is my first time at the event, but just the notion of the churches coming together to pray is awesome, especially because I’m not from this country,” Hamilton said.

Members from her congregation, Global River Church, carried the flags.

The interfaith event in Wilmington was part of similar Global Day of Prayer events happening simultaneously in every country in the world. The event started in Fiji and will end in this hemisphere.

To begin the prayers, a choir of five shofar blowers blew a long note in their hollow dissonant tones. A shofar is typically made of a ram’s horn and is one of the earliest instruments used in Jewish tradition.
The 50-member Global Day of Prayer Mass Choir sang cross-denominational hymns such as Open the Eyes of the Lord and A Mighty Fortress is Our God between prayers as members of the audience came to the microphone to offer prayers for homelessness, Christian unity, forgiveness, persecuted Christians and mercy and grace for the world.

“Let us labor together as partners to bring unity between Gentile and Jew, between the cultures, between the races. We thank you Holy Spirit,” one woman prayed. “Give us ears to hear what your spirit is saying to the modern day church.”

A man sat in the bleachers with his head in his hands, his forehead wrinkled in concentration. A mother held her baby in a sling as she swayed at her seat, her hands raised to the ceiling.

Lydia Gaster, a member at Wilmington Pentecostal Holiness Church, brought her teenage daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend to the event because “I came last year, and I think it’s a really good, edifying time for Christians in this community,” she said. “It’s good for the city; encouraging.”

When it came time for the group to pray The Apostles’ Creed, an announcer invited everyone in the crowd to pray it in their native languages.

James Halls, a member of Port City Community Church, said the event gave him momentum to start his week.

“Just to really get a more global view of how real God is all around the world is great,” he added. “I’m going to meditate on that throughout the week.”

Unfortunately I didn't get to go to this event, but it looks like it was a great ecumenical gathering to celebrate global and religious diversity.


That Baptist Ain't Right said...

Thanks for posting this! Maybe a few more genuine days of prayer )not contrived by official edict) will have a positive purpose & outcome.

TheoPoet said...

Thanks for stopping by again---yeah, we can only hope!