Churches gather for World Day of Prayer
An ice storm postponed it by a week, but Christian women in Hillsborough still came together for the 35th year of the World Day of Prayer observance on March 14 at Dickerson Chapel AME Church.
Suzanne Faulkner’s mom, Anne Salomon, started the local observance in 1979 with four churches, including Hillsborough United Methodist. Newcomers this year included several men. While it’s a global Christian women observance, men are welcome – like Pastor Ryan Brooks of Vertical Church in Hillsborough and Pastor Dave Bookout of newhope Church in Durham, where Faulkner attends.
“I came to support this movement and to pray for the women in this community,” Brooks said. “I’m really excited. This is my first year.”
Other churches involved in the annual observance include Cedar Grove United Methodist, First Community Church, Holy Family Catholic Church, Hillsborough Presbyterian, Mars Hill Baptist Church, Mt. Bright Baptist Church, Mt. Zion AME Church, Mebane’s Chapel Church, New Sharon United Methodist Church and Palmer’s Grove United Methodist Church.
Normally observed on the first Friday of March, the service was rescheduled due to icy roads and power outages. On Friday, remnants of the storm were evidenced by upturned trees and broken branches in yards in Orange County, but skies were clear.
In the sanctuary, host pastor Rev. Donald Holman welcomed visitors to Dickerson Chapel AME Church.
“When you’re talking about prayer, you don’t need an invitation,” Holman said. “This is the house of the Lord.”
Participating churches take turns hosting the annual event. Dickerson Chapel AME on Queen Street in downtown Hillsborough is a historic building and was once the Orange County Courthouse, in 1790.
For all World Day of Prayer services held around the globe this year, the focus was Egypt and “Making Streams in the Desert.” Readings and recitations included: “…we thank you and praise you, asking that young people – Christian and Muslim – may one day see peace and justice gush forth like streams flowing in the desert.”
Prayers of intercession included prayers for women in Egypt and widow everywhere. They also sang the Lord’s Prayer. Aisha Mayo, 15, and a member of Dickerson Chapel AME, performed a dance. Several women also read stories from the Bible, including Mary Wells.
Wells, a member of Mt. Zion AME, has been coming to the annual service for many, many years, she said.
“I just enjoy it. I like to take part,” she said.
Linda Ollis, a member of New Sharon United Methodist, also participated in the readings during the service. She has attended several times.
“I like to meet people from other churches,” Ollis said. “We all have the same goal in mind, to live a Christian life.”
There was a repast after the service, so those who came together in prayer shared a meal, too.