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Friday, January 18 , 2019, 4:30 am | Fair 55º


Hundreds Turn Out for National Day of Prayer Celebration in Santa Maria

Lawmakers, community leaders and others attend 19th annual event at Fairpark

Police Chief Ralph Martin, right, joins other city officials and residents Thursday for the National Day of Prayer celebration in Santa Maria.
Police Chief Ralph Martin, right, joins other city officials and residents Thursday for the National Day of Prayer celebration in Santa Maria. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

Hundreds of people united in prayer in Santa Maria on Thursday during an observance that included music and more.

The 19th Annual National Day of Prayer celebration drew lawmakers, community leaders and others to the Santa Maria Fairpark.

Edwin Weaver from Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley provided the keynote speech, sharing how prayer evolved in his life. 

“When I first started praying, it was like a genie in a bottle — “God, gimme, gimme, gimme, and do, do, do,” Weaver said. “And I got angry because he didn’t do what I wanted. 

“Now, that I’ve been doing it for two-thirds of my life, I’ve come to realize that my time of prayer is God’s time to slow me down and shut me up, and to transform my own heart so that I’m able to do his goodwill,” Weaver added.

The theme of this year’s observance was “Wake Up America,” and the event was centered on the Bible verse “Shout it aloud. Do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet.”

Specific prayers were given for government, military, business, education, community services and the faith community, with representatives of each category included. 

Councilwoman Etta Waterfield, who led the prayer for government leaders, noted some have moved to get prayer axed from City Council meetings on the Central Coast.

"And I just guarantee you, looking at my colleagues right here, standing there, that that will never happen in the city of Santa Maria," she said, as audience members applauded.

In addition to the service, attendees received a free lunch provided by the Santa Maria Noontime Kiwanis Club.

Kathy Staples from the Community of Prayer Inc., the event organizing committee, recognized Sister Catherine Sullivan from St. Louis de Montfort Catholic Church for her many years of diligent and faithful service. 

“Santa Maria is great place to be, and I think we really can give ourselves a round of applause cause we’re the best city for honoring the National Day of Prayer,” Sullivan said. 

In addition to Thursday’s celebration, a day of worship and prayer will begin at 8 a.m. Friday, with 12 hours of prayer at the Healing Rooms Apostolic Center, 3010 Skyway Drive, Unit A.

On May 14, Unity in Community will organize the third annual prayer walk and community event celebration, starting at 9 a.m. at the Santa Maria Public Library parking lot and traveling to the Santa Maria Fairpark.

The event at the Fairpark will continue from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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