The first Friday in March is special around the world.
The annual World Day of Prayer reaches across the lines of denominations and into more than 170 countries.
This year the program was prepared by the women of Chile. The country has been in the news often lately and the prayers reflected a desire for peace and equality, justice and a desire to share each person's gifts.
The theme was "How Many Loaves Have You?" It is a question as basic as daily sustenance and as deep as the quest for each individual's place in the community. Part of the service was a reflection on a person's own gifts and talents and how they can be shared to make the world a better place. The ideas were written down on paper and collected as an offering of self.
The service in Maidstone was hosted and organized by members of the Lutheran Church this year. It was held at the Anglican Church at the same time as groups gathered around the globe to read the same reflections and Bible passages and pray the same prayers for women and men around the world. Members of the Lutheran, United, Anglican and Roman Catholic congregations took turns reading and leading. An offering was taken to assist the Women's Interchurch Council of Canada in supporting projects for women and children nationally and globally.
The service is always followed by a time for refreshments and conversation. Those in attendance enjoyed traditional Chilean foods prepared from recipes in the World Day of Prayer handbook and from internet sources bringing both the community and the world a little closer.