National Day of Prayer observed

ALPENA – Pastor Scott Meier of Resurrection Lutheran Church led over 60 community members and students in celebration of the National Day of Prayer on Thursday on the front lawn of city hall. This was the 17th year the event has been celebrated at city hall. People from all around Alpena gathered to participate in prayers for our community and our nation, based on this year’s theme: “Pray for America.”

“It’s so worthwhile,” event organizer Pat Cadarette said. “We are so blessed to have this community.”

Clint Bohlen and Nate Blury provided music for the event and asked the crowd to join them in a number of songs. Then the “Pray for America” prayer was read by Pastor Greg Laurie, chairman for the National Day of Prayer.

Mayor Matt Waligora read the proclamation as written by President Barack Obama, citing the first Thursday in May as the designated day to celebrate the National Day of Prayer, followed by children from All Saints Catholic School leading the Pledge of Allegiance, then singing “How Great is our God,” to the delight of the crowd. Students actively joined in praying for the nation with the other members of the community throughout the entire event.

Additional prayers by community members covered many areas of service such as Marsha Hoppe praying for families, youth and children, and Fire Chief Bill Forbush, praying to protect the fire department, paramedics, and emergency personnel in their day-to-day activities. Chief Assistant Prosecutor Russ Rhynard said he wanted to remind people of their junior high and high school civics and government classes by praying for the roots of government.

“I’m here today to pray for you and me, because if you remember, we are a government of the people, by the people, and for the people,” Rhynard said. “There are signs that tell us that we may be in trouble, but many of us choose to live our lives and forget that we are the foundation of government.”

Bohlen and Blury then asked the community members to join them in singing all the verses of “Amazing Grace,” and closed the event with a prayer for the nation and its people.

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.