Thursday, September 27, 2012
Concerned about the future of the country and the leaders that will guide it, Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church intends to utilize the 40 days that precede the Nov. 6 elections to fast and pray, starting Thursday, Sept. 28.
“We [the United States] have played a very important, significant role in world politics over the years,” said church elder Peggy LaRochelle. “It’s worthy of our time to pray for our leaders. We care about where we live, and we care about the men and women who will guide us and make decisions on our behalf.”
Forty different church members are writing a prayer for each of the 40 days. The prayers will be sent out via email to church members and will also be available on Signal Mountain Presbyterian’s website and on a phone recording at the Prayer Place. Those who are not members of Signal Mountain Presbyterian but who want to receive the emails can contact Stacey McKinney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to LaRochelle, anyone is welcome to join in this 40-day effort, even if they are not a part of the Presbyterian congregation. The prayers are not meant to be specific guides; they are meant to inspire the readers to think about the nation and pray as they see fit, she said.
“There are groups around the country that are doing this. We decided to springboard off of that and make it more personal for our community,” explained LaRochelle. “Each prayer [written for each of the 40 days] is just kind of a personal approach where people have shared their own prayer for the nation. We are having representation from seniors in high school to people 70 [years old] and beyond. We tried to get a good representation of people.”
According to Donna Patterson, chair of Signal Mountain Presbyterian’s Stewardship Committee, the effort is completely non-partisan, instead it is meant to serve the role of creating awareness of national and local issues before a voter steps up to vote in November.
“It raises a stronger awareness of the importance of the [election] day, but we are not addressing issues like ‘Go vote for a specific person,’” she said. “[The upcoming election] only comes on the national scene every four years. We think people should be very aware of it and take their responsibility very seriously.
“I think for one thing, just having this common bond of praying for a nation … it’s a collective action; we are involved in this together,” she added.
The church’s on-site Marr Chapel will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for personal or group prayer during the 40-day initiative.