SIDNEY – Even though Shelby County’s celebration of the National Day of Prayer didn’t include a large gathering of community members like in past years, the celebration still reached hundreds of people.
Representatives from religious and secular organizations gathered Thursday afternoon at the home of Linda Dulin-Moore on Kuther Road just outside of Sidney. There were fewer than 10 people in attendance, but the celebration was broadcast to the entire world through Facebook Live.
“It was just a real blessing for everyone that was involved,” said Dulin-Moore, the pastor at East Liberty United Methodist Church and North Greenfield United Methodist Church. “I thought it went extremely well. It was just a beautiful day.”
The National Day of Prayer has been hosted throughout the United States annually since 1952. It was created by a joint resolution of the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.
This year, more than 750 people watched Shelby County’s celebration live and in the first hour after it was broadcast.
“Today is a day that we come together, to join together, to pray as a nation,” Dulin-Moore said. “There’s people all over our nation that are joining together today to pray.”
Along with hosting the event, Dulin-Moore also led a prayer for churches and asked God to heal the world.
“At the very time that we need God most, we can’t come together in our churches,” she said.
“Never before have churches been closed. Never before have we been told that it isn’t safe to come together.”
Bob Guillozet, one of Shelby County’s commissioners, led a prayer for the government.
“We humbly ask you to stand by us and to guide us through these troubling times that we are facing,” he said. “We ask you for your special graces to guide our leaders and representatives in all areas and levels of our government.”
Connie McEldowney, the director of Rustic Hope, led a prayer for family. She appreciates that families have come together more during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sight of blooming flowers reminded McEldowney that people need to open themselves to God, she said.
“I ask that you help each of us to shake off the dirt,” she said. “Shake off the dirt of our lives and to open ourselves up to absorb your sun.”
Sidney High School Principal Denny Morrison prayed for education, including teachers, students and parents.
“We pray that all campuses will be a safe place to learn,” he said. “We pray that all curriculum taught in every classroom will be true and beneficial to the spiritual as well as the intellectual growth of students.”
Teresa Harshbarger, owner of Believe Art from the Heart, prayed for business. She wants to see work used to glorify God.
“Lord, forgive us for the times that we’ve made our work our god,” she said.
Duane Mullen, a chaplain and Air Force veteran, prayed for the military, asking God to protect military members.
“We thank you for the freedoms that these veterans fought for, which we enjoy today,” he said. “We thank you for their sacrifice.”
Eileen Hix, an associate pastor at Sidney First United Methodist Church and contributor to 105.5 TAM FM, prayed for the media, including media organizations and social media use.
“May we use social media as a platform of inclusion and encounter rather than a place of isolation and alienation,” she said. “May it be a place of beauty and integrity. May we be wise consumers of the information it contains.”
Jill Burd, a nurse, prayed for health.
“Lord, we come before you and ask for healing of our physical, mental and spiritual health,” she said.
The prayers were made from the deck of Dulin-Moore’s house, which overlooks a large pond. A brisk wind was a bit of a challenge, but Dulin-Moore said the beautiful setting created a wonderful atmosphere for the National Day of Prayer.
“It was just a blessing for my husband and I to be able to host it and have people here on our property and to be sharing in prayer and worship in the presence of God together,” Dulin-Moore said.
For more information, and to watch a replay of Shelby County’s National Day of Prayer celebration, visit www.facebook.com/ShelbyPrayer.
Reach the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-538-4824.