The Christian community is invited to participate in Lodi's observance of the National Day of Prayer on Thursday.
This year's theme, "One Nation Under God," is based on Psalm 33:12, which states that "blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord," said Chris Townsend, lead pastor of Emanuel Lutheran Church and president of the Ministerial Association of Greater Lodi.
"While American troops remain in harm's way, our economy continues to waver here in the Central Valley, and we quickly approach our upcoming elections, citizens of Lodi are preparing to exercise their freedom to gather, worship and pray," Townsend said.
Christian leaders from many local churches will join together and offer prayers for the federal, state, county and Lodi city governments, and for the Lodi Unified School District Board of Trustees.
According to the National Day of Prayer Task Force, people with non-Christian theological and philosophical views are free to organize and participate in activities that are consistent with their own beliefs.
However, the national task force website emphasizes that the diversity that Congress intended when it designated the Day of Prayer doesn't mean that every faith and creed would be "homogenized."
On a national level, National Day of Prayer predates the founding of the United States, according to the National Day of Prayer Task Force website. The Continental Congress proclaimed a day of prayer in 1775. In 1952, Congress established an annual day of prayer, with the bill signed by President Harry Truman. In 1988, the law was amended to designate the National Day of Prayer as the first Thursday in May.
Lodi's event will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at All-Veterans Plaza, located between City Hall and Carnegie Forum at 221 W. Pine St. Seating will be provided.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.