CENTER LINE/WARREN — Jackie Lancaster said she’s been praying with Kathy Hanselman for at least 30 years in Center Line.
For a dozen or so years, they’ve led the city’s annual observance of the National Day of Prayer on the first Thursday of each May.
At noon on May 2, you’ll find them gathered with dozens of their fellow citizens beside the city’s municipal offices on 10 Mile, west of Van Dyke. Together, the group will offer prayers for the nation’s leaders at all levels of government, for first responders, soldiers and teachers, and others who they believe need God’s blessings and guidance.
“With just having concern for our city, we had heard about the National Day of Prayer,” Lancaster remembered. “We thought, why not have it in our own city, too? It’s just people who have a heart for Center Line.”
Politics and religious debate aside, the event has been welcomed in Center Line and elsewhere.
“It’s been small, but we’ve appreciated everyone that’s been there,” said Kathy Hanselman, the wife of Center Line Mayor David Hanselman. “We’ve been welcome in Center Line since it started.”
A few miles north, the city of Warren will host its own observance of the National Day of Prayer at noon May 2, in the shadow of City Hall north of 12 Mile and east of Van Dyke.
The event in Warren brings together hundreds of people for prayers offered by religious leaders representing congregations across the city. Those gathered sing patriotic songs and bask in the warmth of fellowship.
Warren City Council member Kelly Colegio has helped to organize the annual event.
“I look at it as a tradition that’s been going on in the city for numerous years,” Colegio said. “I’ve always been an advocate of people being able to express their faith. I consider it one of our freedoms.”
With roots dating back to the late 1700s, the National Day of Prayer was officially established by Congress and President Harry Truman in 1952. Congress and President Ronald Reagan designated the first Thursday in May as the National Day of Prayer in 1988.
The theme for this year’s 62nd annual observance of the National Day of Prayer is “Pray For America,” based on Matthew 12:21 and the message, “In His name the nations will put their hope.”
For more information about the National Day of Prayer, visit www.nationaldayofprayer.org.
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