Ponoka to host annual World Day of Prayer

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The World Day of Prayer has its roots in an ecumenical day of prayer organized by women of Canada and the United States in 1920. This became the International World Day of Prayer in 1922 and is held worldwide on the first Friday in March. It has grown to involve more than 170 countries around the world.

Ponoka churches have been hosting this event for many years. This year the World Day of Prayer will be held at Ponoka United Church on Friday, March 4 at 7 p.m. Host congregations are the Catholic, Anglican and United churches. This year’s service was written by an ecumenical group of women in Chile. They invite us to reflect on the many gifts that God has given each of us — and our call to share those gifts. We join with them as we address a question that draws us into the Bible, into the real context of Chilean lives and communities, How Many Loaves Have You?

The people of Chile have had a tumultuous history. Conflict beginning with the 16th century Spanish explorers still continues to this day with disputes over land ownership. We recall years of terror and oppression under the rule of Augusto Pinochet.

Recently we have been spectators to two disasters in Chile. The first in February 2010, as Chile was struck by a large earthquake, killing 500 people and damaging property in the range of $15 to $30 billion. Then on Aug. 5, 2010 a tunnel collapsed trapping 33 miners a mile underground. It was two months before an escape path could be created and then more than 1 billion people watched the successful rescue.

Please join us, and invite others to attend the World Day of Prayer service and learn more about Chile and its unique culture and heritage. Join with others in over 2,000 communities in Canada who will gather on the World Day of Prayer to act in solidarity with the people of Chile. Everyone is welcome.