ACTION hosts morning ceremony for Thursday’s National Day of Prayer

Published 10:45 am Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Christians across all denominations are once again invited to come together and pray for the community Thursday, as ACTION (Area Churches Together in One Network) ministries hosts its annual National Day of Prayer ceremony.

The Dowagiac church network invites the public to its headquarters at 301 Main St. that morning for a prayer breakfast, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Attendees will have a chance to enjoy a light continental breakfast, consisting of coffee, donuts and pastries from downtown’s The Baker’s Rhapsody, before joining ACTION members in a special prayer ceremony coinciding with other National Day of Prayer events held across the country that day.

“Half the idea is to bring people from throughout the community together, and the other half is to encourage people to pray,” said Jeff Neumann, president of ACTION.

The local organization, comprised of clergy members with several local churches, has been hosting events around the day of prayer for the last four years, Neumann said. Over the last several years, area pastors have conducted a noontime ceremony outside Dowagiac City Hall.

This year, inspired the success of a similar prayer event held in St. Joseph, the ACTION board decided to move the ceremony to breakfast time, in hopes of catching people who might be too busy at work to attend later in the day, Neumann said.

“We thought we do something that might draw a bigger crowd than usual,” Neumann said.

Like prior day of prayer events, ACTION members will lead attendees in a short prayer for members of the local government and community, followed by a reading of a prayer devised for this year’s national holiday, written by Tony Evans, a prominent Christian pastor and motivational speaker, which will be read across prayer events all over the country Thursday, Neumann said. The theme of this year’s prayer is “Wake Up America,” and is based off a verse in Isaiah 58:1.

Neumann and others with ACTION encourage the public to join together Thursday for the communal prayer event.

“I think praying together has a unifying effect,” he said. “It unites us a group and cements our unity toward God.”