Residents pray for peaceful resolution

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 30, 2003

Acknowledging the difference of opinion about the need for war but recognizing a common desire for peace, Woodville ministers and residents gathered Sunday for a prayer service outside the courthouse.

The group prayed, in the words of the Rev. Ed Lundin, to &uot;find a way to end the bloodshed and find a new way for peace in Iraq.&uot;

Lundin, pastor of St. Paul Episcopal Church and one of four ministers at the service, led the group in praying for the president and for the armed forces from words in the Book of Common Prayer.

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The Rev. Gary Bunch of Woodville Baptist Church also prayed for President Bush. &uot;We pray the decisions he makes are in the best interest of the country,&uot; he said.

As the ministers spoke, about 15 residents &045; a few carrying American flags &045; gathered around them, huddled against a chilly breeze.

The Rev. Ray Branch, pastor of Woodville United Methodist Church, read from Scripture: &uot;Let the nations know they are only human.&uot;

&uot;We are already engaged in a conflict that puts those we love and those we care about in danger,&uot; Branch said. &uot;Not everyone supports this conflict, and not everyone who supports this conflict wholeheartedly believes in it, while there are those who support the war.

&uot;Any kind of conflict is painful, but we do it as a people who stand before God and ask him to judge our cause.&uot;

Branch said Americans have a &uot;dream of freedom Š that we wish to share with the rest of the world.&uot;

The Rev. Walter Brown, pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church, read from names of servicemen and women from a list that circulated during the prayer service.

&uot;For those who are experiencing separation (because of the war), we keep them in our prayers,&uot; Brown said. &uot;We pray for reconciliation Š As we gather in remembrance of Christ, we ask you to enlighten our hearts and our minds. We gather for our brethren who are at war. We pray for a quick, speedy reconciliation.&uot;