As a result, Interfaith Ministries of Calhoun County and the Chaplain’s Office at Regional Medical Center are sponsoring the area’s first community prayer breakfast next week.
“We will pray for unity in our community, for safety, and we are inviting people who represent different areas to read parts of the prayer,” said Martha Vandervoort, executive director of Interfaith Ministries.
Interfaith workers will host the breakfast in The Bridge at Anniston First United Methodist Church at 8 a.m. Wednesday — the morning after people across the county have cast their ballots in the presidential election.
In light of that, the event will have something of a patriotic theme. During the continental-type breakfast — featuring items like homemade muffins and Chick-Fil-A chicken minis — participants will hear a devotional and hymns followed by a specially written litany for county residents.
Local church leaders Lee Shafer, of Grace Episcopal Church in Anniston, and Chris Thomas, pastor at Anniston’s Fairview Heights Northside Baptist Church, wrote the prayers to specifically mention a variety of community groups.
Representatives of each of those groups — teachers, children, elderly, volunteers, public safety officials, the poor — will take part in reading their specific prayers.
For example, a colonel from the Anniston Army Depot will read the prayer for the military, someone from the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office will pray for law enforcement officials and an Oxford teacher will pray for children.
Everyone, of every faith, from around the county is invited and encouraged to attend.
“Events like these are not for making grand statements about theology or creedal convictions,” said Thomas, one of the pastors who helped write the litany. “Rather, they are events for people of faith, particularly faith leaders, to come together and discuss where the ‘rubber’ of their faith meets the ‘road’ of our shared community.”
The prayer breakfast existed in the past just for those different religious leaders to come together and discuss that shared community.
But at the urging of incoming Anniston Mayor Vaughn Stewart, Vandervoort said, Interfaith Ministries decided to make the breakfast something that all residents could benefit from, if they wanted.
“It has been my experience that when clergy and people of faith come together for the purpose of improving the community, big things can happen,” Thomas said.
Star Staff Writer Cameron Steele: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @Csteele_star.
Community prayer breakfast
8 a.m. Wednesday at The Bridge at Anniston First United Methodist Church.