The 40 Days of Prayer for Peoria (which I last wrote about here) seem to be going on just fine, the only hitch being that the location was moved to First United Methodist Church downtown. Apparently the leaders were unable to reserve the original planned location (which, in all-too-typical Peoria ecumenical fashion I found out by showing up at the Gateway Building on New Years' Eve at the appointed hour only to be directed to the new location). Readers of the Peoria Journal Star wouldn't have known the difference -- one found me the next morning in the photo attached to the PJS article on New Year's Day and another one on Mike Miller's Faithfully Yours blog. And, as it is, the church has been able to provide for a fine worship atmosphere.
The evenings' prayers have been led by a variety of Peoria pastors and other ministers. Each one I've attended has had anywhere between 125-200 (or more) people attending, and there has been a good mixture of black and white Peorians -- which in my experience has not been typical of Peoria church events, though not for the lack of trying. Perhaps the only negative is that, for all the churches participating, only 4-5 come from the old "Protestant mainline" or Catholic churches -- nearly all are from Evangelical and Pentecostal traditions. I find it curious that clergy from churches with long-standing commitments to ecumenism are, for the most part, not participating. Obviously there there are many reasons for that, but at first glance it doesn't reflect on us very well.
This Wednesday evening, however, Fr. Eric Craig of St. Andrew's Anglican Church and I will do our part in leading prayer for our city in fine Anglican/Lutheran style. If you're in the area, drop by the First United Methodist Church Annex on the corner of Main and Perry at 6 pm. You'll know you've prayed with the Church for our city.
Join the prayers for Peoria any evening at 6 pm: the 40 Days concludes February 8.