Thursday, May 01, 2008

National Day of Prayer - 2008 at Hamilton County Courthouse Steps

I went to the 2008 observance of the National Day of Prayer on the Hamilton County Courthouse Steps today. Days of prayer have a long and rich heritage in the US. The puritans regularly held days of fasting and prayer prior to large undertakings (such as the Plymouth expedition). In 1775, the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation. In 1952, a joint resolution by Congress authorizes an annual national day of prayer and it was signed into law by President Truman. In 1988, the law was amended to set the day of prayer is the first Thursday in May.

The local organizing committee has comprised of a group of volunteers, including Rocky Pegg, Phil Bishop, and Dr. Ted Kalsbeek. This year's programme featured Major Randy Fannon of the US Army Reserve praying for those who protect and serve. Major Fannon serves as a hospital chaplain at Bethesda North Hospital, and he rememberd not just our military, but also our local service personnel, such as fire, police, and other emergency responders.

Prayers for those who govern were offered by Judge Patrick Dinkelacker. Following his prayer, the assembled crowed enjoyed music from the orchestra and choir of God's Bible School and College. Most Cincinnatians are not aware of God's Bible's a historic Wesleyan Holiness institution nestled right on the heights overlooking downtown. They operate dozens of ministries throughout the city, giving their ministerial students opportunities to work with prisoners, the elderly, children, and inner city folk. And yet very few people outside of Wesleyan Holiness circles are aware of them. Their choir and orchestra are pretty wonderful (in fact, they'll be performing at our church next week), and the open air concert was a real complement to the day's events.

Following the choral music, Sonja Vernon of God's Bible School led us in prayer for those who educate while Rev. Jim Bramlage of the historic Peter in Chains Cathedral led prayer for those who Minister. The ceremonies were rounded out with the inimitable Peter Bronson of the Cincinnati Enquirer praying for our City and Communities. All told it was a fine afternoon spent in worship, fellowship and enjoyment of God's good creation through nature, art, and the dignity of our fellow man.

Soli Deo Gloria
See also my reflections on the 2006 Day of Prayer