Community leaders joined residents at Signature HealthCARE on Thursday morning to celebrate the National Day of Prayer. More than 35 residents of SHC were present, along with employees, community leaders, teachers and pastors.
The theme for Signature’s third annual National Day of Prayer celebration for 2014 was “In Defiance of Suffering.”
Director of Spirituality and Chaplain Carl Caffrey said, “We are proud to be part of a movement that joins people of all faiths, traditions and cultures in the practice of prayer.”
Tiffany Sawyer, SHC administrator, opened the service and welcomed guests to the Hall of Fame Cafe at the facility. She shared the history of the National Day of Prayer, which is held each year on the first Thursday in May.
A law was enacted in 1952 formalizing observance of the day, although its origins trace back to 1775, when the first Continental Congress called for a National Day of Prayer and melding the relationship between government and the blessings of God.
R. Lee Preston, SHC staff development coordinator, introduced the spirit of the service with the song, “Holy of Holies,” followed by a prayer for government — local, state and federal — offered by Mayor Tom Rowland. He expressed appreciation for the freedom to meet and pray and to those who make this freedom possible.
Dale R. Hughes, city councilman, prayed for all churches, both local and national. A representative of The Caring Place next offered prayer for families of the community and nation.
Lee University’s Bible and Theology Chairman Rickie Moore prayed for the elders in appreciation of their contribution to the community.
Lee University student Mason Gainey’s prayer was for students of all ages in the community and nation. “We come to You today, thankful for one more day to serve You,” he began, “to advance Your Kingdom and build Your house.” He continued with thankfulness for “what You’ve done in our nation and around the world to proclaim Your Great Name.”
And, Gainey prayed, “We come hopeful for revival, that as a nation, we would move back toward You. “God, I pray that You raise up political leaders who care more about Your approval than man’s. “We pray that You raise up a generation of young leaders to help guide our young adults and children.
“We ask that You help us to see and to seize the God-given opportunities placed in our lives. He concluded his prayer with praise to God, saying, “We know that You’re a good God, a suffering God, who meets us at the bottom ... give the Church a renewed passion to spread the Gospel ... set a fire within our souls.”
Lois, a longtime Signature resident, sang a verse of “Amazing Grace” as everyone joined in with “Praise God, Praise God” to conclude the prayers.
At Signature’s Louisville, Ky., headquarters, the company recognizes the National Day of Prayer with an interfaith celebration of several religious and faith traditions. Many join to pray together, signifying the importance of prayer in daily life.
“The act of unified prayer is important as a symbol of faith, but even more than that, we want this event to be actionable,” said Dianne Timmering, vice president of Spirituality for Signature HealthCARE. “Each and every one of us suffers, in some way, maybe daily. Under this year’s theme, we wanted the National Day of Prayer to be a springboard for every day to be a day in defiance of suffering. We are a movement “In Defiance of Suffering.”
The event was simulcast from Louisville live to all 96 Signature nursing homes, along with each hosting its own unique National Day of Prayer celebration.
“As a faith-based company, we are proud to host an event that brings together so many spiritual groups,” said Signature President and CEO Joe Steier.