Shalee Franklin

Grove Sun

On March 4 area people will join in with women, men and children from more than 170 countries and regions to celebrate World Day of Prayer, 2011 at the St. Andrews Episcopal Church of Grove, 555 E. 3rd St. at 1:30 p.m.

World Day of Prayer (WDP) is a worldwide ecumenical movement of women of many faith traditions who come together to observe a common day of prayer each year on the first Friday in March. Services begin at sunrise in the Pacific and follow the sun across the globe on the day of celebration.

Each year a different country serves as the writer of the World Day of Prayer worship service.

For 2011, the women of Chile invite people to join with them in an opening procession, carrying a “panera”, the name that Chileans give to their everyday bread basket. Bread is central to their daily life and sharing bread is a universal sign of hospitality.

Enduring a devastating earthquake in February, 2010, and two other earthquakes since January, 2011, the women of Chile further encourage people to enter a process that draws them into the bible, into the context of Chile and into the real situations of their lives and communities.

How many loaves have you? What are your gifts? What can you share? These are questions people are asked to ponder as they reflect on the meaning of the theme, How Many Loaves Have You?

Scriptures to be used in relation to How Many Loaves Have You? are Deuteronomy 8:7-10 and 1 Kings 17:8-16.

The first reading from Deuteronomy finds a description of a good land that resembles Chile in so many ways-flowing streams, abundant food, wheat, barley, figs, vines, pomegranates and mineral deposits. They see the contradiction of their country with abundant riches and yet so many people who do not have enough to eat, even when they work long hard hours.

The second reading, 1 Kings 17:8-16, guides people to the example of a woman asked to share food and water during a time of extreme drought, when the prophet Elijah is on his way to exile and is directed to a widow to care for him. Elijah asks for water and bread and the widow finds that she and her son, sharing the morsel of bread, survive the drought and famine.

"This is such a wonderful thing. It really shows you the plight and what is most needed in the country that it is written for," JoAnne Dennis, said.

Many prayers lifted up for the Chilean miners rescued after 69 days underground in collapsed mine. March 4, 2011 we will worship with the women of World Day of Prayer Committee in Chile. The preparation the women began several years ago will culminate in the communal service which will be celebrated around the world on the first Friday in March.

The service, written by the women of Chile, provides everyone with insight into the lives of the miners, their families and the many wives and women who bake bread in the community and share that bread with others.

Each year as the service is written by different countries, churches in the Grove area including St. Elizabeth Catholic Church (2009), First United Methodist Church (2010), St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (2011), Immanuel Lutheran Church, and Grace Presbyterian Church, take turns in hosting the event.

JoAnne Dennis got involved with World Day of prayer 13 years ago when she moved to Grove. A friend had taken her to the service which that year was being held at First United Methodist. She went back to her ECW (Episcopal Church Women) meeting and asked "Why are we not doing this?"

St. Andrews Episcopal Church has now been involved with World Day of Prayer for 10 years.

"It's just very inspiratonal. You come away from the service with a wonderful feeling," Dennis said. "You realize the plight of some of these women because so many are treated as possesions or cattle, yet they have this strength to give and share. We draw strength from these women who are a lot less fortunated than us."

During the service, there will be a collection passed around. The offering of money and prayer will support the work of World Day of Prayer USA and help meet the needs of families who are victims of “poverty, violence and human trafficking.”

Following the service there will be a reception featuring different foods from the Chilean region, including lots of sweetended bread, nuts, and fruits.

Women that will be part of the service are:

JoAnne Dennis -

St. Andrews Episcopal Church

Donna Lawrence -

St. Andrews Episcopal Church

Fran Rhan -

St. Andrews Episcopal Church

Ellen Perkins -

St. Elizabeth Catholic Church

Jan Schissel -

St. Elizabeth Catholic Church

Melissa Harris -

St. Andrews Episcopal Church

Patricia Conway -

St. Elizabeth Catholic Church

Bev Lawson -

St. Andrews Episcopal Church

Patti Redman -

St. Elizabeth Catholic Church

Nathalie Dauer -

Immanuel Lutheran Church

Judy Beyer -

Grace Presbyterian Church

Donna Schoeni -

First United Methodist Church

Ginger Crowl -

Grace Presbyterian Church

Margaret Page -

Immanuel Lutheran Church

Jackie Wilcox -

St. Elizabeth Catholic Church

Connie Saxton -

St. Andrews Episcopal Church

Carolyn Williams -

St. Andrews Episcopal Church

Shirley Hill -

Grace Presbyterian Church

Jean Rathsman -

Immanuel Lutheran Church

Jean Carney -

First United Methodist Church

Karen Hatcher -

Grace Presbyterian Church

Harriet Page -

St. Elizabeth Catholic Church

Kay Gray -

Grace Presbyterian Church

Donna Moser -

St. Elizabeth Catholic Church

Beth Ehlert -

Immanuel Lutheran Church

Norma Johnson -

First United Methodist Church