Approximately two dozen people from several churches and denominations gathered on the lawn of the United Methodist Church on Third Avenue last evening for the first of this season’s Prayers on the Porch, a monthly prayer session organized last year by Mayor Loretta Gluckstein.
Reverend Jill Hubbard-Smith, pastor of the church, welcomed all to the outdoor session, inviting all to gather in a circle around the purple draped cross set up on the church lawn in observance of Good Friday this week. Joining her were members from all denominations in the borough and leading in prayer with her was Pastor. Dr. Dale R. Miller interim pastor of the Central Baptist Church.
Pastor. Dr. Miller also announced that Pastor Matt Agresti will be the new pastor at the Central Baptist Church, and preached at this past Sunday’s service. The church will formally welcome their new pastor in other gatherings next week.
Gluckstein, who began Prayers on the Porch last year, has organized the monthly session as a private citizen rather than her capacity as mayor, inviting all to join in prayer and thanksgiving for whatever they feel is needed. With a leader to open the half hour long non-denominational and informal program, attendees are all invited to share their needs, their thanks and their joy at being able to gather publicly to pray as a group of neighbors and friends. Prayers were included for the governing body, the police and fire departments, as well as first aid squad members and all volunteers who contribute towards making life better for others. Attendees also prayed for local residents who are ill or in distress, and everyone who asked for their prayers.
Gluckstein ended the meeting leading the group in a singalong of thanksgiving, and invited all interested persons to attend the next Prayers on the Porch.
That will be held at the Gluckstein porch on Ocean Blvd. at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 10.
For further information on Prayers on the Porch, or to volunteer to offer a porch or lawn for any monthly gathering, contact either any local pastor or Mayor Gluckstein. The Sunday bulletins in many churches also list the time, date and location of Prayers on the Porch.