PENDLETON - Praying with - rather than for - people of other races, cultures and nations was the force behind Friday's World Day of Prayer service at Peace Lutheran Church, organized by women from the First Christian Church, First Presbyterian Church, First United Methodist Church, Episcopal Church of the Redeemer and of Peace Lutheran.
"Let Our Light Shine" was the theme of the worship service of song, prayer, scripture and meditation, written by Christian women in Poland. The same service was conducted in congregations of 179 countries between dawn and sunset Friday.
Worshipers were welcomed with bread with salt, the Polish symbols for hospitality and friendship.
Betty Udy of Pendleton was the guest speaker and Cheryl Carlson of Pendleton was the song leader. The gathering sang the Polish words to "Our Father, God of Glory," and to a response to scripture readings.
Rose Keene said that she attended the service with members of her Bible study group because they had been invited. Carlson said she had been asked to lead songs and thought it was fun to listen to music from other cultures.
World Day of Prayer is an opportunity for women of the world "to get together and pray for the light of God to shine in everyone," said Susan Bascomb, organizer of this year's event in Pendleton.
Next year's First Friday of March service will be composed by the women of South Africa and follow a theme, "Signs of the Times." It will be coordinated locally by the First United Methodist Church.
World Day of Prayer has roots from as early as 1897 when women of six denominations formed a joint committee for a united day of prayer for home missions that by 1912 was an effort of the Women's Boards of Foreign Missions.
After World War I, the Board incorporated the conviction that world peace was intrinsically tied to world mission that in 1941 became the World Day of Prayer, which in the United States became the responsibility of a movement now known as Church Women United.