Church Women Plan Weeklong Vigil Outside White House

Apr 01, 2003 02:47 PM EST

United Methodist Women will take their prayers for peace to Washington during the week following Easter. The women will gather near the White House from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily, April 21-25, and continuously read from the more than 10,000 prayers that have been mailed to the organization from around the nation and world.

The prayers have arrived at the United Methodist Service Center in Cincinnati as part of the UMW's prayers for peace campaign. Each individually written prayer pleads for peace.

Participants gathering at the nation's capital will do so at their own expense. Directors from the Women's Division of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, the administrative arm of UMW, will begin each day with devotions and information at the United Methodist offices at Capitol Hill. Division staff will follow the day's prayer session with a debriefing and urge women to visit their members of Congress to share their concerns.

The Women's Division is encouraging UMW units that cannot make the trip to Washington to participate in their own communities by assembling to read their prayers and by visiting their state capitals.

Joyce Sohl, chief executive of the Women's Division, affirmed the importance of the prayers for peace, noting that women, children and youth "are the first to suffer in times of war, oppression and dispossession."

United Methodist Women is a million-member organization whose purpose is to foster spiritual growth, develop leaders and advocate for justice. Members raise more than $20 million a year for programs and projects related to women, children and youth in the United States and in more than 100 countries around the world.

By Albert H. Lee
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