People in 170 countries will gather on Friday for World Day of Prayer (WDOP). This year’s service has been prepared by the women of France, and we will be praying under the theme, “I was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me” (from Matthew 25). Our experiences of being a stranger and then being welcomed empower us to build connections and create community where all are welcomed.
The local organizing committee is comprised of women from seven churches: St. James Catholic, Peace Lutheran, Trinity United, Knox Presbyterian, Our Lady of the Valley Catholic, All Saints’ Anglican and St. John’s Lutheran Churches.
The service is written by women for all of us. When we gather for the service, everyone is asked to pray in solidarity with the people of France, a land filled with multi-cultural complexities. Each year, the service brings with it a feeling of curiosity. What will we learn about the theme and the focus country? What will challenge, inspire and encourage us?
The first WDOP, sponsored by the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada, took place in 1922. This year it will be celebrated in more than 2,000 communities across Canada.
When you think of 170 countries being involved and thousands of prayer services being held throughout the world, it is pretty amazing and powerful.
On this special day, people from hugely diverse backgrounds will gather together to pray and have fellowship as people of God. We in Canada have the freedom to gather to pray, which we so often take for granted. In many countries, people will be meeting secretly to observe WDOP. Please join us on Friday, and bring friends! Those who are not able to attend are encouraged to read Matthew 25 and to pray for the peoples of France and for world unity and peace.
This year’s service takes place Friday at 1:30 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 5151 Alain Rd. (off Silver Star Road, first left past Stussi Sports). For more information, call Debbie at 250-545-5913.
Debbie Breitkreutz is coordinator for Vernon’s WDOP service this year.