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Ministers, community join for services for country

They will gather together for just a half-hour, but those who participate in Thursday’s National Day of Prayer are hoping that those 30 minutes will bring healing and peace to the country.

This year there will be ceremonies in Ironton and Chesapeake, both at noon.

“There will be prayers for the schools, the economy, the nation itself and various subjects in the culture,” Dr. Wayne Young, pastor of First United Methodist Church in Ironton, said. “We will be offering up prayers to God for those areas.”

The Ironton service will be on the Lawrence County Courthouse lawn.

“We will have several ministers from the ministerial association who will provide a period of prayer,” Young said.

National Day of Prayer was officially designated as the first Thursday in May in 1988, 36 years after Congress had established that the country should have an annual day of prayer.

“This gives us an opportunity for the otherwise isolated families of faith to come together to put into practice something we strongly believe in and that is prayer,” the Rev. Chuck Case, pastor of Chesapeake United Methodist Church, said.

Chesapeake’s ceremony will be at Triangle Park on Third Avenue. Chesapeake Mayor Dick Gilpin will read a proclamation before community ministers and members offer their prayers.

“We are praying for the country and the world,” Case said. “First of all it is witness of the unity in the body of Jesus Christ. Too often the focus is on how separated we are by doctrine or whatever. Whenever we get a chance to do things together I think it is a great thing to do. It broadens our sense of the brotherhood and sisterhood of faith.”