Prayer focus of two community events

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, May 4, 2011

It’s offering two opportunities for the Ironton community to come together and demonstrate the belief in the power of prayer.

On Thursday at noon the Ironton Ministerial Association will mark National Day of Prayer, an annual event begun by Congress during the administration of Harry Truman in 1952.

“It is open to the public,” Dr. Wayne Young, pastor of the First United Methodist Church, said. “We want as many people as can to come and pray with us.”

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The hour-long service will be in the lobby of the city center and will feature members of the ministerial association offering specific prayers for the government, the church, the military, families, education, media and business.

“Usually what we do is each one of the ministers chooses or is assigned one of those areas,” Young said. “Prayer brings us into the presence of almighty God and in our seasons of trial and times of prosperity when we don’t know where to turn, he is our answer.”

Among the members of the city’s ministerial association are Young, the Rev. Sallie Schisler, vicar of Christ Church; Jeff and Jim Cremeans of the Ironton City Mission; the Rev. David Ritchie, pastor of St. Paul Lutheran; Brent Baker of Central Christian Church; the Rev. Jan Williams of First Presbyterian Church and Rob Hale of the First Church of the Nazarene.

Besides the communal prayers there will be opportunities for silent prayer as well.

“I think people derive encouragement in knowing that other folks believe that God is involved in the life of the nations and seeing other people who are willing to come and pray is encouraging,” Williams said.

Then on Friday at noon will be May Friendship Day for Church Women United at First Baptist Church. This is one of three events the ecumenical women’s group, founded in 1941, celebrates each year. The others are World Day of Prayer the first Friday in March and Community Day, the first Friday in November.

“We come together for a salad luncheon program,” Williams said. “It is about leaving a legacy through our friendships to the next generation. This is a very empowering thing for women. Women come together for worship, come together to celebrate the power that they have to change things.”

Among the projects the local women’s group contribute to are collecting paper products for the local domestic violence center and participating in the least coin offering.

The International Least Coin Offering is a movement that directs women to set aside during their prayer time the least coin of their currency. Those coins fund grants for a variety of social programs.

“The value of the least coin as they gather them up has the power for projects to alleviate hunger and other projects,” Williams said. “Every woman in her own culture can feel she has given to these projects. It is the idea that God is involved in the world.”