BUCKHANNON — Church Women United gathered at First Baptist Church (FBC) last Friday afternoon in celebration of World Day of Prayer (WDP). This year’s World Day of Prayer was prepared by World Day of Prayer Zimbabwe and World Day of Prayer USA.
The theme was “Rise! Take your mat and walk,” referencing John 5:2-9. In this passage, Jesus tells a man that had been paralyzed for nearly 38 years, “Rise! Pick up your mat and walk.” The man was immediately cured and therefore, picked up his mat and walked. This instance took place on the Sabbath. Prayer and action are what link us together around the globe, according to WDP. The sisters of Zimbabwe are taking Jesus’ encounter to be a call to act in love for peace and reconciliation.
The ladies gathered at FBC, learned of Zimbabwe’s history and rich culture - which is known for its wildlife and dramatic landscapes, such as Victoria Falls. The service was set up in order to listen to the people of Zimbabwe; so, they can take you into their communities and through their concerns. The service included a great multitude of singing because according to the handout, Zimbabweans love singing. The service also included a prayer of praise, confession, and one of thanksgiving and intercession – all related to the communities and concerns of Zimbabwe. Members in attendance were also asked to write down their commitments to support their communities with actions of love, peace, and reconciliation.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, members were handed miniature “mats” to remind us to pick up our mat and walk.
Church Women United express they are “A racially, culturally, theologically inclusive Christian women’s movement, celebrating unity in diversity and working for a world of peace and justice.”