PLUMSTED – Township spiritual leaders, residents and public officials came out on a Thursday afternoon to observe a time-honored tradition, the National Day of Prayer.
There was a familiar face absent this year, Ronald Dancer, a long-time former mayor and 12th District Assemblyman, who died last July. He was remembered however during the event.
Barbara Diblin, who once again coordinated this year’s event, included the proclamation as part of the day’s program. It was read aloud as a prayer by the audience. Dancer wrote the proclamation in 1992.
This marked the 31st observance of the National Day of Prayer in Plumsted. The service hosted by Diblin featured several patriotic songs such as “God Bless America” “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “America the Beautiful.”
“The National Day of Prayer tradition predates the founding of the USA,” Diblin said. She introduced several speakers including retired U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Chris Hofrichter who prayed for those in the military, Fran Grilletto who prayed for business and Gwen Schwarzwalder who prayed for the media arts.
Township Mayor Robert Bowen prayed for those involved in all levels of government. Bible Baptist Church Pastor Dominick Cuozzo, who also serves as a township committeeman, prayed for family while Pastor Devan Ritchey, of New Life Assembly Church in Wrightstown prayed for the church. Maureen Grove prayed for education.
Hofrichter said, “America is great because America is good. If America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. How far we have fallen my brothers and sisters. This nation is in trouble but there is hope in God who keeps his promises.”
Grilletto said, “work came to us after the fall of Adam and Eve and the Lord said because that sin you will toil and that is what we do, we toil. We struggle in our work place day in and day out.”
Grove thanked God, “for having a free education and I pray, Father, turn us around.”
“I am thankful that we live in a town that sets a celebration like this aside. I am privileged to have a family and I don’t take that for granted,” Pastor Cuozzo said. “There are all different flavors of belief. I think we can all pray for unity of the home and softness of heart and marriages and family.”
Mayor Bowen said, “I am pleased to be able to serve our community. We pray for all of those who lead our government, federal, state and local levels. Grant them wisdom and integrity to lead with kindness and guide them through the daily challenges of leadership.”
Pastor Ritchey noted, “we pray for your church in America and your people across this land. We pray that we will wake up. We are living as unbelievers. Will you wake us up? Sanctify your people with your truth.”
“As a free moral agent man has the awesome responsibility to choose between a hapless physiological existence with a dead end or a rich and rewarding eternity as a member of God’s family,” Schwarzwalder said during her prayer.
“We had a great turnout and I was glad everyone was here,” Diblin said.
At the same time the prayer ceremony took place, members of the Satanic Temple of New Jersey were present in Township Hall with their own activity.
Michael Silvestro of Monroe Township said he and his fellow members decided to observe the event in a different way, through a community service project. “We cleaned up the basement and bathroom and we will be involved in an area adopt a highway project in the near future.”