If you go …
What: Craig Citywide Prayer Gathering
When: Noon to 1 p.m. May 5
Where: Under the flagpole at the Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way
— The faith-based event is part of the National Day of Prayer. Anyone is welcome. For more information on the Craig event, call Myrt Stagner at 824-3355 or 629-0821, or visit www.nationaldayof...
Early in 2010, Myrt Stagner was looking for guidance, so she prayed.
She said the more she prayed, the more she felt the divine support to start something important.
“It felt like God was calling me,” she said.
Stagner’s reflection led her to share the power of prayer with people in Craig, a project she will be continuing again this year.
Stagner is an organizer of the Craig Citywide Prayer Gathering, scheduled for noon to 1 p.m. May 5.
The event is part of the National Day of Prayer, an official U.S. tradition since 1952. It has taken place on the first Thursday of May since 1988.
During the Craig event, participants will gather beneath the flagpole at the Moffat County Courthouse to pray for numerous topics, such as government, business, the military, families and other subjects.
“For the government, we want to pray that our leaders are granted wisdom and open hearts,” Stagner said. “Even though we don’t always agree with them, we should still be willing to lift them up with prayer.”
The National Day of Prayer has been a hot-button issue in recent years, with the Freedom from Religion Foundation suing organizers of the event in 2008, including then-President George W. Bush. Last year, a U.S. District Court judge ruled the National Day of Prayer to be unconstitutional.
On April 14, the ruling was overturned by the Seventh District Court of Appeals, which stated that recognition of the event does not encroach on American citizens' First Amendment right of religious freedom.
In 2010, President Barack Obama supported the event and at the state level, Gov. John Hickenlooper has also backed the initiative.
Stagner said she wants to have solid participation from local residents this year.
“We used to have it here, and Guy and Holmes Shefstead arranged most of it,” she said. “They were with the Lutheran church.”
Holmes died in 2003 and Guy in 2008. Since then, getting the event on steady footing locally has been somewhat of an uphill battle, Stagner said.
Last year’s gathering included 75 people, and Stagner said she hopes even more people come this year. She has approached leaders of churches around Craig about encouraging their congregations to attend.
“I’ve had a good response, and I think there’ll be a lot of people coming to support us,” she said.
Stagner is a member of the Craig Assembly of God. She said she would like to see representatives of all denominations, as well as those outside the Christian faith attend the May 5 gathering.
“It’s open to whoever wants to come,” she said. “Keeping our churches united is how we stay strong.”
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