Christians throughout Lycoming County will join with Christians in over 170 countries around the world in observance of World Day of Prayer. The women of Malaysia invite us to join them Friday for the World Day of Prayer 2012. Locally, a service will be held at 1:30 p.m. at Church of the Savior, Lutheran, 522 Grier St.
The 2012 World Day of Prayer service will begin at the first sunrise on March 2 in the Pacific region, and follow the Earth's orbit, shining its light on the country of Malaysia and, in turn, the rest of the world.
The theme chosen for this year is "Let Justice prevail." Every service opens with the greeting "Selamat datang," which means "peace and welcome" and is a reminder that harmony as a people is rooted in peace and welcome. The women name fair and just governance as the basis for peace.
The stories chosen by the women of Malaysia give credence to the suffering that empowers their prayer. A clear message emerges: It takes courage, compassion and active engagement for justice to prevail. The service invites those who gather to resolve to work with God and with each other to create a world in which each gender, race, culture, religion and state is honored, nurtured and empowered.
The service brings Christians from myriad backgrounds cultures and traditions together in prayer and action. World Day of Prayer began in the 19th century. Since 1941, it has been sponsored in the United States by Church Women United, a grassroots ecumenical movement of Protestant, Roman Catholic, Orthodox and other Christian women.
Regina Gross, president of Church Women United in Lycoming County, invites all to join in this annual World Day of Prayer service. Musicians for the service include Carol Waltz, accompanist, and Barby Smith, song leader.
Georgette Copp, president of the Women of the ELCA of Church of the Savior Lutheran, looks forward to welcoming everyone to this gathering next Friday. It is by our connecting, one with another in our own community, we become informed about the gifts and the needs of God's people. Then through prayer we are urged to take action to bring about the Kingdom of God.
One of the ways women from throughout Lycoming County do this is to pray for nursing home residents and to make lap robes, footies, bibs and catheter bags for them. An ingathering of these items, often between 1,500 and 2,000 items, will be collected and dedicated at this service. Pat Wittig and Barbara Allen and their assistants will assemble the donations and then distribute them to the nursing homes throughout the county.
Women from nine congregations in Lycoming County will be leaders in the service. They include: Patty Gohrs, Jean Cleveland, Sally Grieco, Melodie Harrison, Pastor Kathleen Behrens, Pat Ressler, Sharleen Clapper and Patty Knapp.
Refreshments are being coordinated by the women of Church of the Savior, Lutheran.
Offerings from this service, collected by Eleanor Derr, treasurer of Church Women United of Lycoming County, enable the ongoing work of Church Women United, the national committee of the United States for World Day of Prayer. Portions of your offering are designated toward women's projects both internationally and in the United States. This year grants will focus on concerns expressed by the women of Malaysia.
The next celebration, May Friendship Day, a luncheon and program, will be held May 4 at First Church of Christ Disciples, 1250 Almond St.