McPherson residents are encouraged this Thursday to stop a moment and pause for the 65th Annual National Day of Prayer.
The First Christian Church will be hosting an hour-long, non-denominational event on Thursday beginning at noon for all local residents to come together as a community.
Ronn Peters, who helps organize this event every year, recently came by the radio station to help spread the word about the national event and to remind the local community of the need for prayer every day.
"Do we need prayer?" Peters asked rhetorically. "Yea, I think we do. But then, I think we always need prayer."
Everyone is invited to come to the First Christian Church on Thursday no matter where they attend church in the community or whether they attend church at all. In fact, Ronn Peters views this event as a way to bring recognition to how many people in the local area and in the nation actually attend church regularly.
"In doing this thing, this year for some reason I decided to figure out [the numbers],” said Peters. “Because I'd heard numbers kicked around of how many people in McPherson go to church and how many don't." So Peters decided to gather some statistics.
His curiosity led him to discussions with local pastors who helped him come up with an estimate of 28 churches in the city of McPherson and 90 churches in McPherson County as a whole.
This number doesn’t necessarily reflect churches who currently rent or borrow space to fellowship on Sunday. But Peters believes that when the entire county population is taken into consideration, the attendance at the county’s 80 churches is still not enough.
"We know there are five or six churches... we'll say seven in the county, that average about 400 coming to church on Sunday,” said Peters as he crunched the numbers. “And the rest of them, if you look at national averages, have got 75 coming.
“Now, my pastors around town tell me it's probably more like 125 [attending the average church] here." But Peters says that still doesn't get you very far into the 30,000 people who live in McPherson County.
"That leaves about half of them that are not attending a church on Sunday morning. There's a need here,” said Peters. “Quite honestly, there is a need."
Peter thinks the motto for this year's National Day of Prayer is especially relevant for this need and for the country as a whole.
"'Wake Up America' is the national motto for this year, and boy do we need to be woke up!"
During the National Day of Prayer’s noon event at First Christian Church, pastors from all over the area will be offering up prayers for the local and state communities and for the nation as a whole. Local attendees will be invited to offer up prayer as they feel led. Christian Elyria School will also be providing musical talent as they have in years past.