Prayer day aimed at being 'kid friendly'


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - About three years ago, Ginger Peterson wanted to take her children to a National Day of Prayer event, but she found nothing that was "kid-friendly."

"I thought the next year I would do something for kids," she said. In the meantime, she moved from Lancaster, Pa., to Chambersburg and pulled a few friends together to establish an event to coincide with the National Day of Prayer.

Peterson and other women who make up the Mother's Prompting Children to Pray Committee and the Christian Emphasis Committee of the Chambersburg YMCA held their third annual event Thursday.


About 200 youths were expected to attend either the morning or afternoon guided prayer walk at the YMCA. The event originally was schedule for Memorial Square, but rain pushed it inside.

Participants stopped at seven stations where local guests, such as police, firefighters and local dignitaries explained their community jobs to the children. They then said a prayer in keeping with the theme "Praying Every Step of the Way for Home, Community and Nation."

"The goal is for children to see what prayer is. To show families and be an example," said Nancy Fritz, a member of the Mothers Prompting Children to Pray Committee.

"The Lord gave (Peterson) a vision for this, and she started calling together a few ladies in the community," Fritz said.

On Thursday morning, children from area preschools shuttled between the seven stations, starting with Chambersburg Mayor Tom Newcomer, where they prayed for local and national leaders.

Sheryl Gudgeon, a member of the Mothers Prompting Children to Pray Committee, introduced one group of youngsters to "Mayor Tom."

"We all have rules and people that are in charge of our rules. Mayor Tom is one of the people in charge of rules for Chambersburg," she explained.

She then led the group in a prayer for the leadership of Chambersburg and for President Bush.

"He has so many decisions to make talking with other countries. We pray for wisdom," Gudgeon said.

The group moved on to meet members of the Chambersburg Fire Department and Police Department to pray for their safety, and said other prayers for schools, jobs, families and churches.

Jenny Whitfield, of Chambersburg, said she brought her son Cade, 2, for the first time Thursday.

She said when she heard it mentioned during church she thought it would be a good hands-on way for Cade to learn about prayer.

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