Prayers offered at observance
In observance of the National Day of Prayer, more than 50 Adams County community members, pastors and leaders gathered at Peace Monument on the Decatur courthouse square at noon on Thursday to participate in a prayer service organized by the Decatur Ministerial Association.
Rev. Kevin August of New Hope Community Church opened the service with a call to prayer, saying, "We are called before the Lord to repent, confess, remember, seek comfort and direction, and to receive God's courage and help."
Gene Blume of Decatur Church of God followed with a prayer of repentance and confession.
Dave Meyer of Pleasant Dale Church of the Brethren said a prayer of remembrance, specifically for all of those affected by acts of violence, the soldiers at home and abroad, the souls of those consumed with hate, for the conflict around the world and those burdened by hunger and poverty.
During the prayer of remembrance, current and former members of the Armed Forces and members of the Decatur Ministerial Association were invited to come forward as the hands of others were laid upon them.
A prayer of comfort was given by Frank Montgomery of First United Methodist Church. During that prayer, community business leaders were invited to come forward to pray.
Montgomery prayed for the comfort of families in need, for those affected by struggling business ventures, for communities that have been forever changed and for nations in mourning.
Mel Burkhart of Salem Community Church invited civic leaders to come forward as he prayed for the direction of: individuals in need of Christ, congregations seeking to make a spiritual impact, civic leaders attempting to enhance their communities, federal leaders forming budgets, policies and laws, state leaders maintaining agencies and creating financing, and local services including police, fire and school authorities.
Rev. Ken Hogg of Cornerstone Ministry said a prayer for hope that people will find healing in Christ, congregations will work together, pastors will be Godly examples, civic leaders will be Holy Spirit-led, families will experience peace and youth will be bold and steadfast.
A prayer for courage was then given by Rev. Geoff Smith of New Beginnings Family Center. He prayed that people will have the courage to face their struggles, respond to the needs of others, envision and build, to set aside their fears and to witness the sustaining power of Christ.
Carla Evens of New Hope Community Church offered a prayer of confidence in God's help. She prayed for help to find healing, soothe our grief, rebuild our cities, overcome our fears and face the future with confidence.
A closing prayer of thanks and blessing was given by Ruth Smith of New Beginnings Family Center.