Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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May 3, 2013

National Day of Prayer: A call to God

GOSHEN — Praise for Jesus and prayers for the community echoed around downtown Thursday at noon during the annual Day of Prayer event.

More than 100 people gathered on the courthouse lawn to sing, praise their Lord and shout for joy at the promise of salvation in the Christian faith.

Kim Maurer of Goshen was one of the faithful who gathered in small groups to pray for specific topics presented by speakers.

“(I am here) just to pray for our leaders. They need it,” Maurer said. “They need our prayers. We need to turn this country around for our God.”

That sentiment ran consistently through the prayers offered up by the main speakers, each taking a turn at a portable microphone.

Melanee Neisen presented a prayer of repentance; Marcia Yost prayed for educators; Cody Collier prayed for the media; Sharon Zepeda prayed for members of the country’s military; Sam Kamwengi prayed for honesty and godliness in business practices; Gerardo Sapien prayed in Spanish for government leaders and his son Gerardo Jr. translated the prayer to English; James Hochstetler prayed for church leaders and congregations; Dave Ramer prayed for families; and Maggi Judd led the communal prayer.

Throughout the event many people stood with hands raised in praise while others sat on blankets with children and relatives. Still others found a comfortable spot in the soft, deep green of the new spring grass.

Arthur Baer Sr., in his 80s, often bowed his head in prayer while sitting on his walker equipped with a stool.

He was grateful for the chance to attend and said the reason he did so was because of “The Lord and the beautiful day he has given me.”

But he was also disappointed. “Too bad we don’t have more here,” he said.

The event ended when Judd asked the members of the crowd to pray while facing in turn four points of the compass and to declare God as king and Jesus as savior of the United States, Indiana and Goshen.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
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