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Prayers offered for end of drought

August 29, 1999|By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

CLEAR SPRING - Parishioners from several Clear Spring churches came to the town park Sunday and gave thanks for the recent rainfall over Washington County. Under sunny skies, they asked the Lord for more.

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The Rev. Dennis E. Whitmore of Potomac Charge United Methodist Church and pastors from other Clear Spring churches recited prayers and gave their thoughts on the drought and the upcoming school year.

The group of about 70 people - some holding hands and others holding umbrellas in a hopeful gesture - opened the prayer session with the hymn, "How Great Thou Art."

Whitmore told the crowd that society often takes such simple things as water for granted.

"We live in a nation where truly anything we want is at hand," he said.

Whitmore said individuals must take stock in themselves to determine if they need to repent and reconnect with their spirituality.

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"God is speaking to us through the drought - that our thirst is much deeper than water can quench," he said.

The Rev. Richard Yates of St. Paul's United Church of Christ said he is grateful for the rain that has fallen, but it is not enough.

"We have received a gift of limited amounts of water, but we stand in dire need," he said.

Yates spoke of the basic need for water for people, animals and the earth.

"Water is essential to life. It is essential to growth," he said.

Although his own crops aren't 100 percent, Clear Spring farmer Clayton Ernst asked the community to pray for farmers in the Cornbelt who also are experiencing drought conditions.

"We have no control over the weather, that's up to the Lord. But we have to remember that there are others suffering, too," he said.

Tom Grosh, owner of a Clear Spring lawn care company, pointed out the drought is not just a farmer's problem.

He said it has a far-reaching impact on consumers and countless types of businesses.

"It has a trickle-down effect," he said.

Each summer, Helene Ridenour of Clear Spring plants corn, tomatoes, green beans and other vegetables in her garden. Normally it yields enough to feed her family of five with some left over for canning.

This year her green beans are small and tough and other vegetables have suffered as well, she said.

"Usually we have a nice garden, but this year everything just burned up from the heat," she said.

Ridenour said she hopes the Lord will respond to their songs and prayers and bring the rain Washington County so desperately needs.

"We hit a lot of issues tonight that have been in everybody's heart," she said. "I have faith in God and believe it will work."

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