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GREENVILLE, PA. Events to focus on prayer



Published: Sun, April 21, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The event includes a prayer walk through the downtown business district.

By HAROLD GWIN

VINDICATOR SHARON BUREAU

GREENVILLE, Pa. -- Jeff Blair believes that the nation now, more than ever, needs to turn to prayer for direction.

He will lead a group of Greenville residents who will take their prayers to the streets May 2 for the National Day of Prayer.

Blair, 38, treasurer of Greenville Savings Bank and a member of Greenville Alliance Church, is the chairman of the "American United Under God" program that will begin with a prayer breakfast and end with a prayer luncheon.

It's a community prayer event, he said.

The events of the past seven months since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., and the more recent financial woes that have befallen Greenville are leading more people to prayer, Blair said, adding that he is anticipating a good turnout.

"People may find this is the best way to deal with it," he said.

Blair, Beckie Irwin and Dennis Stake make up the committee organizing the local day of prayer.

"This is my fifth year heading it up," Blair said, noting that it was started earlier by others, but that he got involved when the event was canceled six years ago.

Events planned

Prayer always has been important, but it takes on added significance in light of what's happening in the world today, Blair said.

"We need to be in prayer with God to gain direction in matters facing us. He's the ultimate authority," Blair added.

Events in recent years have drawn as many as 200 participants, depending on the weather, and Blair said he anticipates a larger turnout this year.

The Rev. Jim Miller, pastor of First United Methodist Church, is the featured speaker at the breakfast. Tickets are $6 each and reservations are required. Call (724) 588-3938 by April 29.

The luncheon is free, but reservations are requested. Call (724) 588-5190. It's is sponsored by the Greenville Area Council of Church Women. Judith Christ, music therapist, will present a program during the luncheon.

The National Day of Prayer was initiated in 1775 when the first Continental Congress called on the Colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a new nation.

XCongress formally established the National Day of Prayer as an annual event in 1952 and, in 1988, the law was amended to designate the first Thursday in May as the National Day of Prayer.




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