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Sequim joins the prayer heard 'round the world

When people are in pain, it can be natural to pray for them.

But when the world is suffering, can those prayers still make a difference?

Women involved with the World Day of Prayer believe so.

"Prayer works," said Bonnie Collins from St. Luke's Episcopal Church.

Six Sequim-area churches came together for the annual World Day of Prayer service on March 6 at St. Luke's Episcopal Church.

Women from Papua New Guinea wrote the prayer service, which is traditional for each year's featured country. The service is held in 170 countries worldwide.

Attendees pray for the unity of each country and for the world throughout the day.

The event began Feb. 20, 1920, in the U.S. and now takes place the first Friday each March.

Nine women from area churches sang and read Bible passages and testimonies from women in Papua New Guinea. Three stories of women sharing their testimonies were shared.

They spoke about women uniting to aid in overcoming war and the constant need for prayer to overcome climate change and the HIV and AIDS epidemic.

Papua New Guinea has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS victims in the Pacific Ocean.

The service featured Pat and Sammee Pearson, missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Papua New Guinea, who continue to serve there after 27 years.

Sammee spoke briefly on the country's challenges and need for prayer. She said missionaries have been going to Papua New Guinea for 150 years - but with 869 languages spoken in that country, spreading God's love remains difficult.

Women involved in the program said the service unites people locally.

"All our home churches have an outreach program, and I think this is another thing that bonds us," said Lee Raymond from Dungeness Valley Lutheran Church.

"Regardless of how close we are with different ways of worship, we still can come together."

"I believe people who worship God and Jesus should be able to come together," said Bernice Metz, from Faith Lutheran Church in Sequim.

An offering was taken for grants for women in Papua New Guinea. Each year the ecumenical scholarships go to a committee that relates to the theme for each year. This year's theme was "In Christ there are many members, yet one body."

Next year's local World Day of Prayer will be March 5, at Trinity United Methodist Church.

The day will focus on the country of Cameroon with the theme, "Let everything that has breath praise God."

More information about World Day of Prayer in the U.S. can be found on the Web at www.wdpusa.org.



Matthew Nash can be reached at mnash@sequim gazette.com.



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