Millions of Americans are expected to answer the call to prayer on Thursday, during the 61st annual observance of National Day of Prayer.
Locally, the annual prayer gathering sponsored by the Summit County National Day of Prayer Task Force will begin at noon on the steps of the Summit County Courthouse, located at 209 S. High St., Akron. The observance will focus on the need to pray for America and her leaders and citizens. It will include an interpreter for the deaf. For more information, call 330-996-0602.
The task force, which represents a Judeo-Christian expression of the national observance, will also sponsor its annual Bible reading marathon, which begins Sunday in Cascade Plaza and ends before Thursday’s prayer gathering. A concert of prayer and praise for teens is 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at Akron Bible Church, 783 Brown St., Akron. For information about the youth concert and Bible reading, call 330-715-6813 or 330-620-2304, respectively.
In addition to the activities planned by the local task force, the Green Clergy Association is hosting a prayer service and free breakfast at 7:15 a.m. Thursday at the Queen of Heaven Parish Life Center, 1800 Steese Road in Green. The guest speaker will be the Rev. Norman Douglas, co–founder and executive director of Heart to Heart Communications. For reservations, call 330-896-2345.
In Norton, the Kiwanis Club will host its annual Community Prayer Breakfast at 7 a.m. Thursday at Grace Brethren Church, 3970 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road. Tickets are $10 and must be purchased in advance. For more information, call 330-825-7676.
A prayer gathering is also planned at noon Thursday at Manchester United Methodist Church, 5625 Manchester Road and at 6 p.m. at the flagpole at Apostolic Church of Akron, 2545 Newton St., Akron.
The National Day of Prayer dates back to 1775 when the Continental Congress encouraged prayer from the colonists while they were building a nation; it was made official in 1952 by President Harry Truman, who signed it into law. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan established that the day of prayer would be celebrated on the first Thursday of May. It has no government funding and organizing is left to private groups.
This year’s theme is “One Nation Under God.” It’s biblical Scripture foundation is Psalm 33:12 (“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”).
In other religion news:
Christ Is The Answer Ministries — 379 E. South St., Akron. 1 p.m. today. The Intercessory Prayer Ministry will host a snack and a movie. Cost is $5. Movie is Tell Hell I Ain’t Coming. 330-376-1869.
Deliverance Christian Church — 2130 31st St. NW, Canton. 6 p.m. Sunday. Evangelist Carol Eutsey will appear. The choirs will perform along with the dance ministry, Candice Thomas and the Thomas Twins. Free. 330-491-0319.
Dominion Family Church — 90 W. Thornton St., Akron. 11:30 a.m. Sunday. Bike Blessing Event will be held. 330-252-2277.
Family of Faith United Methodist Church — 800 E. Market St., Akron. 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday. Creamed chicken/biscuits and Swiss steak dinner. Adults $8, ages 4-12 $5. Carryouts available. 330-376-2141.
First Church of Brethren — 1812 Marigold Ave., Akron. Rummage sale, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to noon May 5. Spaghetti dinner, 5 to 7 p.m. May 5. Adults $6, children $4.
Grace and Glory Fellowship — 2128 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls. 11 a.m. Sunday. The founding pastor, the Rev. Richard Skoff, will celebrate 40 years of ministry, the last 27 in the Akron area, at the morning service. Fellowship with cake and coffee will follow the service at 12:30 p.m. 330-922-4871.
Grace United Church of Christ — 13275 Cleveland Ave. NW, Lake Township. 4:30 to 7 p.m. today. Swiss steak dinner in the Family Activity Center. An added activity will be a plant sale hosted by Boy Scout Troop 135. The dinner includes noodles or mashed potatoes, coleslaw or applesauce, green beans, rolls, desserts and beverages. Hot dogs offered as an alternative for children. Adults $8, ages 4-12 $4, ages 3 and younger free. No reservations needed. Carryout available. 330-699-3255.
Grace United Church of Christ of Loyal Oak — 3285 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road, Norton. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 5. Annual rummage sale. Vases, dishes, children’s clothes and toys, books, home decorations and more. 330-825-3259.
Greater Bethel Baptist Church — 404 S. Arlington St., Akron. 11 a.m. Sunday. Friends & Family Day. Denim is the attire. 330-724-0718.
Messiah Missionary Baptist Church — 1168 Ackley St., Akron. 9:30 a.m. May 5. Annual Testimonial Breakfast at Mason Park Community Center, 700 E. Exchange St. Donation is $8. Laureen Akili is the speaker.
New Hope Baptist Church — 1706 S. Hawkins Ave., Akron. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 12. The Women of Virtue Ministry will host its annual Mother’s Day Brunch at the Sheraton Suites, 1989 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls. Theme is Christian Women Growing Stronger in Christ. Attire is semiformal. Featured speaker is Joy Hale of New Beginnings Empowerment Center. Adults $22, ages 5-10 $11 and age 4 and younger free. 330-865-9472.
Northminster Presbyterian Church — 237 W. Maple St., North Canton. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. Free community luncheon with ham as main course. All are invited. 330-499-4606.
OPEN M — at Silver Springs Park Heritage Barn, Stow. 11 a.m. May 5. Eighth annual Walk for Kids. Walk is one mile in length. Park offers fishing, playground, basketball and bike and hike trials. Walkers will collect donations to help children and families with medical needs and to provide emergency food assistance. For more information, call Tiffany Stahl at 330-434-0110.
Our Lady of the Elms Chapel — 1220 W. Market St., Akron. 3 p.m. Sunday. A prayer service and reception in celebration of St. Catherine of Siena. Guest preacher is Sister Pat Twohill. 330-835-5688.
Phillips Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church — 413 Iroquois Ave., Akron. 7 p.m. nightly Thursday, Friday and May 5. Annual Women’s Revival. The Rev. Charlotte Wade will speak on Thursday and the Rev. Shiloh Hooks-Johnson on Friday. A special close-out musical on May 5 will feature a variety of performers. 330-784-8964.
Prince of Peace Baptist Church — 844 Garth Ave., Akron. 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Celebrating its 55th Ushers Day. Guest speaker will the Rev. Gregory Harrison of Antioch Baptist Church. 330-762-4997.
St. Paul’s United Methodist Church — 2705 Sixth St. SW, Canton. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Trash & Treasures Sale. Lunch will be served both days from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hot sandwiches, soups, beverages and soup-by-the-quart will be sold. 330-456-7207.
St. Vincent Church — 164 W. Market St., Akron. 9 a.m. Sunday. The 175th Anniversary Reunion Mass for former parishioners and students. 330-535-3135.
Stow Presbyterian Church — 4150 Fishcreek Road, Stow. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 5. Annual attic sale. Furniture, toys, clothing, kitchen items, outdoor equipment, tools, shoes, books and home decor items. Free and open to the public. Includes a snack and bakery sale. $1 bag sale begins at 1 p.m. Proceeds benefit mission trips. 330-688-6935.
Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent — 228 Gougler Ave., Kent. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today. Annual book sale. Thousands of books at low prices. At noon, prices drop to $2 a bag and at 1 p.m., $1 a bag. Bake sale included. 330-673-4247.
Berean Christian Bookstore — 1100 30th St. NW, Canton. 7 to 7:30 p.m. May 5. A free drama presentation of Elijah will be presented. It is a single-person act by Marissa Dubine, a home-school and college graduate who attends Arlington Memorial Baptist Church. 330-492-8990.
Brecksville United Church of Christ — 23 Public Square, Brecksville. 4 p.m. May 6. Free concert featuring Chaconne Klaverenga, a young classical guitarist studying at Cleveland Institute of Music under the direction of Jason Vieaux, world-renowned virtuoso classical guitarist. Freewill offering. Light reception will follow the concert. 440-526-4364.
Fairlawn Lutheran Church — 3415 W. Market St., Fairlawn. 3 p.m. May 6. Sixth annual High School Music Festival in the sanctuary. Features the choirs of Firestone, Revere and Copley-Fairlawn high schools. Each choir will perform separately, under the direction of Sally Schneider, Deborah DeVore and Basil Kochan, concluding with one mass number. Freewill offering. Free parking at the church and Summit Mall. 330-836-7286.
St. John Christian Methodist Episcopal Church — 1233 S. Hawkins Ave., Akron. 4 p.m. A musical, 100 Women in White, will be held. 330-864-3060.
Speakers, classes, workshops
Anointed Word of Life Ministries — at Guy’s Party Center, 500 E. Waterloo Road, Akron. 9 a.m. May 19. Second annual Prayer Breakfast. Speaker is the Rev. Michelle Williams of Cleveland whose topic is A People ... Called to Pray. Tickets $25. For reservations call Michelle Barclay at 330-319-1929 or Keeya Langford at 330-983-7699. Deadline is May 13.
Biblical Counseling Institute — 8146 High St., Garrettsville. The annual conference, Hope in a Victim Culture, will be held in North Ridgeville on May 5. Dr. Charles Hodges is the featured speaker, focusing on bipolar disorder and depression. There will be 10 additional workshops on other topics. For more information and registration, call 330-527-4205 or visit www.bciohio.com.
Blessed Trinity Parish — 300 E. Tallmadge Ave., Akron. 7 p.m. Tuesday. Father Norman K. Douglas, co-founder of Heart to Heart Communications and chaplain of the University of Akron Newman Center, will be the speaker at the next Come and See meeting. His topic is Getting to the Heart of Our Catholic Identity. Small discussion groups covering a variety of topics will follow. No cost, reservations not required. For more information, call Linda Herold at 330-376-5144.
First Friday Club of Greater Akron — University of Akron Martin Center, 105 Fir Hill, Akron. The Rev. John Phalen will speak on the topic Living the Rosary: Finding Your Life in the Mysteries. Phalen has served as president of Holy Cross Family Ministries in Easton, Mass., since 1996. Luncheon cost is $15. Doors open at 11:15 a.m. 330-535-7668.
Our Lady of the Elms — 1220 W. Market St., Akron. 10 to 11:30 a.m. May 5. Human Trafficking: Modern Day Slavery will be presented by Sister Anne Victory, education coordinator of the Collaborative Initiative to End Human Trafficking, and Sister Josie Chrosniak, board member of the Diocese of Cleveland Catholic Commission. Reservations due Monday. Contact Conni Dubick at 330-835-5688 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Fellowship Chapel — 951 Virginia Ave., Akron. 7 p.m. May 8. Loved Ones of Prisoners (LOOP) Family Ministry will hold a support meeting. It provides support and guidance to those with loved ones in the criminal justice system. 330-724-2454, www.cfchapel.org.
The deadline for Religion Notes is noon Tuesday. Items must be in writing. Please fax information to 330-996-3033, email it to email@example.com or send it to Religion, Akron Beacon Journal, 44 E. Exchange St., Akron, OH 44309.