On Friday, Mar. 4, there will be a World Day of Prayer service held at the Pentecostal Christian Life Assembly Church in Barriere, at 11 a.m. This year the theme is “How Many Loaves Have You?”, and the prayers have been compiled by the women of Chile. All are encouraged to participate, and there will be refreshments following the service.
The World Day of Prayer began in the 19th Century when Christian women of Canada and the United States started to be involved in missions at home and in other parts of the world.
Since 1812, women have encouraged one another to engage in personal prayer and take leadership in communal prayer within their mission auxiliaries and associations. Presbyterian women in the United States then called for a national day of prayer in 1887, and Anglican women in Canada established a national day of corporate intercessions for mission in 1895.
On October 19, 1918, Presbyterian women in Canada called together representatives of five Women’s Missionary Boards – Anglican, Baptist, Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian – “to promote the spreading of Christ’s kingdom through united prayer and action.” That first inter-church meeting gave birth to the Interim Committee on the Federation of the Women’s Missionary Society Boards of Canada, which organized a national and inter denominational day of prayer on January 9, 1920.
In 1922, the Canadian committee agreed to use the same theme and day for the Day of Prayer as U.S. women used. This annual event became the Women’s World Day of Prayer in 1927.
The Canadian committee changed its name to become the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada and now includes representatives from 11 church partners. This council continues to coordinate the World Day of Prayer in Canada and to speak to issues that concern women of faith across the country.
On request from the WDP Committee of Chile, embroiderer Norma Ulloa from Copiulemu faithfully created a colorful tapestry to depict the theme “How Many Loaves Have You?” The original piece is made of wool woven on sackcloth. It measures 60 x 40 centimeters and took over a month to be completed. In the tapestry you can see images from Mark’s Gospel presented in the context of rural Chilean life in a way that honours Christ’s presence in our daily lives everywhere.