SIDNEY — The National Day of Prayer was observed on Thursday in Sidney. Leaders from all over Shelby County were on site to participate in the event. The day has been observed in Shelby County for more than 30 years.
Residents were welcomed to Sidney United Methodist Church by Jeff Raible, president of the Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce. After the singing of the National Anthem, led by the Student Choir, and a prayer by the Rev. David Chivington, pastor of Sidney First UMC, proclamations were read by Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst and Shelby County Commissioner Julie Ehemann.
The Student Choir was composed of students from Fairlawn, Jackson Center, Lehman Catholic, Anna, Christian Academy, and Sidney High School. The choir was directed by Frank Fahrer.
The keynote address was given by Pastor Ed Rinehart of Immanuel United Church of Christ in Kettlersville. Rinehart, along with Pastor Alan Leach of Connection Point First Church of God, is cochairman of Revive Ohio- Shelby County.
Revive Ohio is a continuation of a movement which began in Texas in 2007. Volunteers are sent in teams of four or five to pray with people in their communities. Revive has spread across the country.
“Revive Ohio is not a program. It’s not an organization. It’s a movement of God and we are being invited to be a part of it,” said Rinehart.
Rinehart explained the movement and informed the people that it is scheduled to be in Shelby County in October.
Various community leaders approached the podium to lead prayers concerning different sections of the county and the world.
“Let us take this moment to acknowledge the brave men and women who have courageously stood on the front lines throughout Americas history to defend the defenseless, to protect the innocent, and even lay down their lives,” prayed Ed Ball, director of Shelby County Veterans Services.
“We are so grateful to live in a country where we are afforded a free press, where we are blessed to have such gracious and caring local media outlets. These people working these outlets are truly on the front lines every day, often reporting on tragic events that occur in our communities but also bringing the good news to life,” prayed Joe Laber, of WPTW in Piqua.
Mike Toal, president at Everyday Technologies Inc., prayed for businesses.
Mary Smith, superintendent of Christian Academy Schools, prayed for schools.
Jessica Guillozet, Community Connections Facilitator at Shelby County Board of Developmental Disabilities, prayed for family.
Following the Student Choir singing “I Sing Because I’m Happy,” the closing prayer was led by the Rev. Frank Amberger, pastor at Holy Angels Catholic Church.
The event was moved from the Courtsquare to Sidney First UMC because of the weather.
The National Day of Prayer was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.
“Since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the call to prayer has continued through our history, including President Lincoln’s proclamation of a day of ‘humiliation, fasting, and prayer’ in 1863. In 1952, a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Truman, declared an annual national day of prayer. In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May. Each year, the president signs a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day. Last year, all 50 state governors plus the governors of several U.S. territories signed similar proclamations,” according to the official website.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.