Local clergy lead Prayers for Peace in Darfur

SARANAC LAKE A service of prayer and meditation for the peace talks in Darfur, Sudan, was held at noon on Oct. 26 in the Church of St. Luke, sponsored by the Ecumenical and Interfaith Clergy of Saranac Lake. The Reverend William Small, interim pastor at St. Lukes, welcomed the participants, noting the importance of international awareness and pressure on behalf of the Darfurian people. Prayers were offered by the Reverend Joann White, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, Reverend Small, and Esther Arlan, a member of the Lake Placid Synagogue. The Scriptural theme of the program was the passage from the second chapter of Isaiah promising a time of peace in which nations shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nations shall not lift up sword against nations, neither shall they learn war any more. A period of silent prayer and meditation concluded the program. For the past four and a half years, the people of Darfur have been subject to rape, murder, and displacement from their homes in a process the United States Government has termed genocide. Over 200,000 people have been killed, and 2.5 million have been displaced. The United Nations is currently attempting to negotiate a peace between the government of Sudan and rebel groups. Previous efforts to cease the violence have failed. The Ecumenical Clergy meet monthly for mutual support and to work collaboratively to address concerns of the community. The group is currently co-convened by Reverend Small and Rev. Ingrid Johnson of the Adirondack Community Church in Lake Placid. The next ecumenical and interfaith program is a community service of Thanksgiving worship, scheduled for Wednesday, November 21 at 6:00pm. The service will be celebrated at the First Presbyterian Church at 57 Church Street, Saranac Lake. For more information, contact the Rev. Joann White at (518)891-3401.

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