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Citizens answer call to prayer

Island County citizens, city officials and guests gathered together Thurday in front of the Island County Courthouse to bow their heads and pray for their towns and the rest of the United States.

The nation recognized its 54th National Day of Prayer. And locally, churches and town officials set time aside to celebrate and memorialize this occasion.

Oak Harbor Mayor Patty Cohen read a town proclamation at a prayer breakfast in Oak Harbor, attended by 106 people, and Coupeville Mayor Nancy Conard read a similar proclamation on the steps of the courthouse; both declaring that the towns would recognize the National Day of Prayer and honor Congress’ wishes to commemorate the importance of prayer throughout U.S. history and everyday living.

“On behalf of our towns, states and the world, we say that we need You in every step of our lives,” said Rev. Carl Smith, of a local Jewish Avodah Yeshiva Fellowship, as he led a prayer on the steps of the courthouse.

Approximately 95 citizens attended the gathering in front of the courthouse and participated in a moment of silence, a song, listened to a short word of encouragement by guest speaker Rev. Eric Barger, of Take A Stand Ministries, and prayed for areas of world, national and local concern.

“I usually pray for our troops ... and that we do the right thing,” said Oak Harbor resident James Byron.

Coupeville resident resident, Erin Torres, said she prays for more open Christianity in leadership.

Jacque Hildreth, coordinator for local events for the National Day of Prayer, said this year’s turnout for the breakfast and the courthouse prayer was greater than last year, and said she hopes for even greater involvement next year.

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