WORLD PRAYER DAY
The World Day of Prayer Committee of Chile prepared the service for this year’s observance. The event is always near the first Friday in March. Joyce Rettenmier of Boardman United Methodist Church coordinated the event under the umbrella of Church Women United.
About Chile: Rich Morgan of St. Luke Catholic Church and Ruth Abbott of Lockwood United Methodist Church offered a capsule summary of Chile — 2,600 miles of coastline, 124 miles wide, 80 percent mountainous, $310 is the average monthly wage, 17 million people and 80 percent are Roman Catholic, 10 percent Protestant and 10 percent Jewish, Muslim and other faiths.
Music: Karen Davis, singer, and Larry Davis, singer/guitarist, of Boardman United Methodist Church led music.
Program presenters: Joan Binsley, St. Charles Borromeo Church; Mary Lou Blasko, Mary Ann Kessler, Sue Magrini and Judy Redig, St. Luke; Romayn Care, Boardman UMC; Delaine DeChellis, Bethel Lutheran Church; Molly Galano and Janet Smart, St. James Episcopal; Patty Howard, Simon Road Church of God; Nancy Kilpatrick, Pleasant Grove Presbyterian Church; Margaret Lorimer, Disciples Christian Church; and Susan Wessner, Good Hope Lutheran Church.
Social: Toni Jones of St. Luke was hostess; the Altar Rosary Society provided a light lunch.
By LINDA M. LINONIS
“How many loaves have you?” queried the women of Chile who wrote this year’s service for World Day of Prayer, a global ecumenical movement. The answer revolves around what people are willing to share.
About 80 women and men gathered Thursday morning at St. Luke Catholic Church, 5235 South Ave., for the program led by members of participating churches.
The Rev. Joseph A. Fata, St. Luke pastor, mirrored the Chilean women’s theme in his message. “As long as I have more food than I need and one child goes hungry, justice is not done.”
Father Fata said prayer is part of worship but it must be a movement. “ Prayer must transform us,” he said, adding that prayer must “affect change.”
“Without justice, there is no true prayer. We must have prayer to achieve justice and arrive at peace,” he said.
He concluded with Maya Angelou‘s poem, “Amazing Peace.”
The service incorporated facts about the South American country to help participants understand the people and their lifestyle. Bread is the main food in Chilean homes; sharing bread is a sign of hospitality.
Chilean women wrote that a reading from Deuteronomy 8:7-10 about flowing streams, mineral deposits, abundant foods of wheat, barley, figs and pomegranates resembles their homeland.
Another biblical reference, 1Kings 17:8-16, is about a poor widow who is asked by the prophet Elijah to share her bread and water. Though what she has is meager, she shares it, thus putting herself and her son at risk. But the flour and oil she has do not run out, and she and her son survive the drought and famine. Another passage, in Mark 6:30-44, dealt with the miracle of the loaves and fishes.