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Interfaith service for the nation
On Thursday, January 19, 2017, on the eve of the Presidential Inauguration, Emmanuel Episcopal Church hosted an interfaith prayer service for the nation. It was open to all people and featured leaders from the Christian, Muslim, and Jewish faith traditions. The service began with the hymn "My Country Tis of Thee," and included prayers by the Rev. Shelby Owen, Rev. Paul Nancarrow of Trinity Episcopal Church, Rev. Edward Scott of Allen Chapel, Ms. Beth Young from Temple House of Israel, and Imam Farhan Siddiqi of the Islamic Center of Shenandoah Valley. Rev. Scott read a series of statements by past presidents, including Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, as well as other historical figures such as Martin Luther King.
The basic purpose of the gathering was to ask God's blessings for the future of the United States of America, for domestic and international peace, and for a sense of love and unity among all people in our community, in our nation, and throughout the world. Prayers were said for both the outgoing and incoming presidents, for their guidance, and for the people governed by them. We aim to offer a ray of hope to our community in an atmosphere of unity and peace.