Community News

World Day of prayer 2020, hosted by St James Catholic Church, Yamba. All people of Christian faiths were warmly invited to attend and participate. Image: contributed

World Day of Prayer 2020

The World Day of Prayer is a world wide movement of Christian women who come together to pray for the poor countries around the world. The Country chosen this year was Zimbabwe with the beautiful prayer service prepared by the women of Zimbabwe. It was expected that in Australia about 960 services would be held. What an exciting day of fellowship together, worship and petition to our God.

Rise! Take your mat and walk!  These were the words from St John’s Gospel, as the theme of the day. The host church for the Service this year was St James’ Catholic Church Yamba, to which all people of Christian Faiths were warmly invited to attend and participate. About sixty people attended.

We were privileged to have present, as our guest speaker, Sister Anne Hughes a sister of Mercy from the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea, who had lived and worked among the poor in Zimbabwe which has one of the lowest life expectancies in the world. Her work was to teach and to support mothers of children with special needs and disabilities. Sister Anne shared some of the memories and experiences of her years in Zimbabwe.

Tracey Smith, one of our local parishioners was born and lived in Zimbabwe until she was eighteen years old. Tracey saw the writing on the wall and left Zimbabwe in order to be able to get work and support her parents and the family she left behind. Tracey shared her story with us, from a heart which still holds a tear from those days bringing back many memories of her young life during those years.

The day started with a procession into the church, to Zimbabwean music followed by their national flag. The procession consisted of candles representing Peace, Love and Reconciliation, the national flower known as the Flame Lily, as well as artefacts and food from their staple diet. The day was filled with such joy from the experience of being together, and sharing prayer and song.

Prayers were offered that God, through the power of his Holy Spirit would bring about permanent change in each of our lives.  A commitment was made by the people in attendance who gave generously to the project “Empowering Mothers of Children with a Disability”, in Zimbabwe.

A short commissioning ceremony was held by presenting a candle to the Anglican Church representatives, who will host the 2021 World Day of Prayer for Vanuatu.

The Service concluded with a Blessing to go in peace to love and serve God’s world by “Rising! Taking up our mat and walking!”  The final hymn “The Day You Gave us Lord, is Ended” was sung with great gusto as all processed out of the Church to the Hall to enjoy a comfortable cup of tea and  continue sharing with new brothers and sisters. Special thanks to all for coming and participating.