LIFE (Lehighton Interfaith Fellowship) joined women, men and children from all over the world Friday to celebrate 2012 World Day of Prayer.
The local service was held at Grace Lutheran Church, Lehighton. Taking part in the program were SALM Emma Weaver, Josephine Rhyder, Trinity Lutheran Church; Mary Kay Levandusky, All Saint's Episcopal Church; Jenny Keiper, Joan Mertz, Jean Gothard, organist; Shirley Radler, Zion United Church of Christ; Rosemarie Austin, St. Peter and Paul Church; Shirley Stamm, First Presbyterian Church; and Barry Shupp, Zion United Church of Christ.
Each year, women from a different country are chosen to write the service. This year, the Christian women of Malaysia wrote the service, focusing on the theme "Let Justice Prevail."
Their greeting of "selamat datang" means "peace and welcome" and is a reminder that harmony as a people is rooted in peace and welcome.
The 2012 WDP service began at the first sunrise in the Pacific region and followed the earth's orbit, shining its light on the country of Malaysia and in turn, to the rest of the world.
The message that emerged was that "It takes courage, compassion and active engagement for justice to prevail."
The service gave credence to the suffering that empowers their prayer. Worshippers are asked to work with God and with each other to create a world in which each gender, race, culture, religion and state is honored, nurtured and empowered. The Bible readings spoke to the peace, patience, persistence and prayer that are necessary for justice to prevail.
WDP service began in 1887 by a Presbyterian laywomen, Mary Ellen James, to bring together international women from a myriad of backgrounds, cultures and Christian traditions for prayer and prayerful actions.