MANCHESTER – Township residents took part in the observance of National Prayer Day during a ceremony held at the America’s Keswick retreat based in Whiting.
According to the website, nationaldayofprayer.org the annual nationwide observance is held on the first Thursday of May, “inviting people to pray for the nation. It was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.”
Every president since 1952 has signed a National Day of Prayer proclamation and 35 of the 45 U.S. presidents have signed proclamations for National Prayer. Records indicate there have been 1,526 state and federal calls for national prayer since 1775 and counting according to the website.
“Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the time for these exercises, and the objects proper for them, according to their own particular tenets; and right can never be safer than in their hands, where the Constitution has deposited it,” President Thomas Jefferson said.
America’s Keswick is involved with addiction recovery for men and women and offers training and resources concerning addiction recovery through conferences, retreats, events, and outreach.
Robert Kenney, the director of Partner Care at America’s Keswick, welcomed those to the event. He noted that the Colony of Mercy at America’s Keswick was founded on September 25, 1897, by William Raws, as a spiritual restoration center for men who had become addicted to alcohol.
Kenney was praying not only for the future of the nation, state and municipality and its leaders but also for the success of a special event coming up this weekend.
“Our 15th annual Family Freedom Walk will be held on May 13. This year our goal is to raise $175,000. As our biggest fundraiser of the year, America’s Keswick needs prayers and support,” he added.
Kenny shared his own story of addiction with The Manchester Times and how his faith helped him turn things around. “The Lord rescued me from addiction. In 2015, I came to the Colony of Mercy at America’s Keswick. I had been enslaved by sin and had a heroin addiction that gripped me.”
“I was broken and in need of change. I was headed to an early grave. There was nothing I could do to break this bondage. I had been to numerous rehabs that couldn’t seem to help but God used America’s Keswick to offer me freedom in Jesus,” Kenney said. “The Colony of Mercy used God’s word to get to the bottom of my heart, where he could deal with the real issues.”
Kenney said the goal for the Family Freedom Walk is to raise funds to ensure that “men, women, and their families receive the opportunity to walk in new life and see that the addiction recovery ministries’ needs are met.”
The Freedom Run includes a walk through the retreat’s campus and a chance to participate along with hundreds of addiction recovery graduates with their family and friends. Snacks, games and music will be part of the day along with prizes for the most money raised and an award presentation during the closing ceremonies.
America’s Keswick does not receive state or federal funding. The Keswick event page is americaskeswick.org/event/15th-annual-family-freedom-walk2023/