Center Line, WarrenMay 7, 2014
Center Line, Warren ‘United in Prayer’
By Brian Louwers
C & G Staff Writer
CENTER LINE — The cold breeze may have kept the crowd down, but those who came to gather around the flagpole at Center Line’s City Hall May 1 basked in the glow of collective prayer and the occasional blast of heavenly sunshine.
Regardless of the numbers involved, the spirit of the scene mirrored that of other events held in nearby Warren and across the country, as the faithful gathered for the 63rd annual observance of the National Day of Prayer.
First established by Congress in 1952, the National Day of Prayer has been held annually on the first Thursday in May since 1988. This year’s observance celebrated the theme, “One Voice, United in Prayer.”
Together, those gathered in Center Line and Warren offered prayers for leaders at various levels of government; for first responders and the military; for educators, the media and businesses; and for the nation’s families.
“Our land is in need of healing, so today we will pray that you will hear our prayers,” said Jackie Lancaster, one of the organizers of Center Line’s annual observance of the National Day of Prayer.
Center Line Mayor David Hanselman read the names of the city’s reserve and volunteer public safety officers, and called attention to the city’s tireless volunteers. Hanselman then led the crowd of about two dozen in song, singing “God Bless America” and “My Country ’Tis of Thee” as a stiff wind blew the flags atop poles behind them.
“Lord only knows we need to pray, and we need the help,” Hanselman said of the prayers offered. “It’s something that the city needs going forward in these times of world unrest.”
Warren’s observance, held in front of City Hall east of Van Dyke and north of 12 Mile Road, included prayers offered by local religious leaders on a variety of topics.
After the event, Fouts said he addressed the topic of heroin addiction in his remarks to the those gathered in Warren.
“Maybe if people have a belief in something known as faith and they have something like prayer, they need something to be able to reject that drug,” Fouts said.
The mayor said he also spoke about a recent effort to place a “reason station” inside City Hall, next to a “prayer station” staffed by volunteers from local churches. Fouts previously denied the request, and has stood opposed to legal pressure brought by a Wisconsin-based group of atheists seeking to end the city’s participation in the National Day of Prayer and its permittance of the prayer station and a holiday display depicting the birth of Jesus Christ.