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Memorial service planned for Sunday

When the going gets tough, the tough pray.As part of a movement of national organizations to declare Sunday a National Day of Mourning and Prayer for the victims of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., a large fellowship of pastors and ministry leaders in Kitsap County are inviting congregations and communities to a non-denominational, community-oriented prayer service. The service is scheduled for 7-8:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, at Thunderbird Stadium, across from the Kitsap County Fairgrounds.Certainly the tragic events of (Tuesday) highlight the fragile nature of both our lives and the wonderful freedoms we have enjoyed as Americans, said Bill Robinson, former pastor of Peninsula Bible Fellowship who is helping to organize the gathering.It is in times like this, when our vulnerability and impotence in the face of evil is so powerfully exposed, and when our hearts are broken for those victimized ... that many of us recognize our need for God who, in the words of scripture is 'an ever-present help in trouble,' Robinson said, quoting from Psalm 46:1.In his letter to local church and ministry leaders about the event, Robinson noted a letter the Central Kitsap School District sent home with students offering help. But the letter also encouraged families to seek support, if needed, from the faith community of their choice.Many people who may not be part of a faith community will need spiritual and emotional help during this 'troubled time,' Robinson said in a letter to ministry leaders in the county.Organizers still are planning Sunday's program at Thunderbird Stadium, but it will include an introduction, a short period of hymns and patriotic songs, directed prayer, and closing remarks and prayer.The purpose is to come together to pray for the nation, the victims of the Sept. 11, and ourselves, Robinson said.Many pastors and ministry leaders from around the country believe the Lord would want his church and the people of America and her communities to come together in fervent, united prayer in this time of crisis, said Robinson.With other information about the countywide prayer gathering, Robinson distributed a Prayer by the Nation for the Nation (in an Hour of Unprecedented Sorrow), prepared by the national organizers.It reads, in part:Let Your just ways prevail in all the earthCause all your plans to succeedStrengthen those whose grieving hearts cry out to youShepherd us through this valleyGive fresh strength to Your people.

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