Prayer Service for America to encourage healing after election's divisiveness

Monday, November 5, 2012

As a divisive 2012 election season draws to a close Tuesday, memories of the hard-fought campaign will undoubtedly linger in the minds of voters, whether or not their candidate won a particular race.

It will be a time of jubilation for some and acceptance for others.

The Rev. Dr. Jeff Long, a retired pastor formerly of Centenary Methodist Church in Cape Girardeau, is aware of the turmoil elections can cause.

"Husbands and wives won't be voting the same way," he said. "That happens to be the case in my household."

That's one reason why Long has put together a Prayer Service for America, open to the public Wednesday from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the event room at Chateau Girardeau.

Long, now the assistant director of marketing at Chateau Girardeau and also its foundation administrator, said the prayer service will be for the country and not only for who wins the election.

"It's part of Chateau's policy to stay out of politics," he said, "and that's what we will be doing. This will be a time to pray for our leaders, whomever they may be after Tuesday. The elections will be over, and it will be a time to come together as Americans and go forward with the leaders we have chosen as a nation."

Speakers will be U.S. District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh Jr., Cape Girardeau Mayor Harry Rediger and Jackson Mayor Barbara Lohr.

Limbaugh said he will be speaking on the historical perspective of campaigns and elections.

"This year's election cycle has seemed particularly bitter," he said, "but this isn't the first time we've experienced that. People tend to forget that it happens every four years. But the main message for Wednesday is that we're coming together in a peaceful way, no matter the party. We've already had a Civil War in this country, and that was enough. We're not going to have another."

Rediger shared Limbaugh's belief that this year's election contests have been bitter ones.

"It's been a long campaign season," he said. "I know that people are anxious for its conclusion and are already wanting to put it behind them. But once it is behind us, we need to take stock of our freedoms and pray for our leaders. I hope that on Wednesday we can prayerfully thank the Lord for our blessings and bring each other together."

Lohr said the prayer service comes at a good time, as the country has a chance to emphasize a new sense of civility.

"I look at it as a time to mend, whatever the result," she said. "It's time we got together and pray that we can cooperate on more respectful terms. I think we could all get along better if we did."

Long added that he held a similar prayer service at Centenary Methodist after the 2008 election and it was a success.

"We held a service then and I was very pleased with the result," he said. "But it's four years later, and I feel that another unity service will be helpful to those who attend. We'll ask God to heal the breach, and then it will be time to turn the page."

klewis@semissourian.com

388-3635

Pertinent address:

3120 Independence St., Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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