Community leaders #Pray4Unity on National Day of Prayer

Halen Doughty

Government and community leaders came together in prayer on May 3 for National Day of Prayer. This year's theme is Unity, and leaders prayed to put the "unity" back in community. The theme was taken from Ephesians 4:3, which says "Making every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of Peace."

Chief Deputy Bobby Webre of the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office touted the parish's name, Ascension, which he said was named for the ascension of Jesus Christ. With the parish just east of Assumption, north of St. James, and west of St. John the Baptist parishes, he said it's obvious prayer is important to the community. Introducing this year's theme, Webre said divisiveness is touching every section of American life, making it more important than ever for people to come together in unity.

"We know that prayer brings people together. It doesn't divide us," said Webre. "Prayer builds bridges."

Rev. Charles Brown of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Donaldsonville was on hand to pray for unity in government, as the reverend also serves on the Donaldsonville City Council. He said he is honored to work with people who can praise God and freely call on His name. Brown prayed for the protection of elected officials and their families and asked for wisdom and clarity for all leaders.

"Help us to know, God, that we are elected to serve You, and we serve you by serving others," Brown prayed.

Parish President Kenny Matassa issued the closing comments at the celebration, thanking attendees and sponsors alike. He said he is grateful to host this event and spend time with other parish leaders in the Lord.

"We are one in God and one in the church," said Matassa. "We struggle together. We are joyful together. We are one family."

The event was sponsored by the Jambalaya Festival Association, Community Coffee, Coca Cola, and the Lamar-Dixon Expo Foundation. Lunch was served at 11:30 a.m. followed by the program at noon in the banquet room at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center. The program included attendees from across Ascension Parish and spanned our religious diversity.

The celebration ended with a call to action. Attendees were asked to be an example of what it means to unite. The message was taken from Psalm 133:1, "How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony."

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