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Church women come together for prayer

Falls, Lordstown event

LORDSTOWN — Women from area churches came together recently for a World Day of Prayer service.

While events were held throughout the nation, including locally, a group of 55 women gathered at Lordstown Christian Church to mark the annual event with displays noting Zimbabwe throughout the church. This year’s theme was “Rise Take Your Mat and Walk.”

World Day of Prayer is an ecumenical celebration of prayer and action held on the first Friday in March.

Ruby Hawkins of Warren, event coordinator, said this year’s program was organized and written by women of Zimbabwe with decorations and displays in the church showcasing the African country.

Those who came to the church including women from 21 area churches who were greeted with a “Zimbabwe Welcome.”

Hawkins said the sanctuary became a Zimbabwe setting with desert, stone house (Zimbabwe means House of Stone), cornucopia of Zimbabwe produce (papya, avacado, buttermut squash), beads, reed baskets and the flag of Zimbabwe, which was stitched by Lordstown Christian Church member Nancy Gallison Emerine.

The worship participants wore various Zimbabwe fabrics with burlap belts. Zimbabwe music was played in the background.

Hawkins said the women prepared a meal of pork, beef, peanut butter stew, roasted butternut squash, Zimbabwe greens and yeast cakes.

Melody Oakes handcrafted the table centerpieces with the flame lily, the Zimbabwe national flower.

Hawkins said the first World Day of Prayer is celebrated in 170 countries and has been observed internationally since 1921. Records of the Newton Falls / Lordstown Day of Prayer show the first observance was in 1960, she said.

Judy Yungbluth, event co-coordinator with Hawkins, said the event is held locally at different churches.

“We spoke on peace and reconciliation from the script written from women of Zimbabwe,” Hawkins said.

A skit was performed to coordinate the theme of rising up and taking your mat and walk.

Hawkins said the theme for 2021 has already been planned to be written by women from Vanuatu, a south Pacific Ocean island, with a theme “Built on a Strong Foundation.”

Nancy Gallison-Emerine of Lordstown said, “The fact that women from all over the world could put together a program like this that benefits the women of Zimbabwe. Every year, groups of women are honored to get to write the program script.

Hawkins said the women brought items from home to help decorate the sanctuary.

Lisa Dean of Lordstown said she likes being able to help put up the displays and for people to get a hands-on chance to try the musical instruments and other items.

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