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Local clergy gather in prayer for peace

A TIME FOR PRAYER — Among those gathering Thursday at the Friendship Room to pray for peace were the Rev. Drake McCalister of Holy Family Church; the Rev. Vaughn Foster; the Rev. Matthew Moore, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church; Friendship Room President Molly McGovern; Holy Family Deacon Ed Kovach; Martha Kovach; and Bishop Roy Dawkins of Greater Zion Temple. -- Linda Harris

STEUBENVILLE — Local clergy gathered downtown Thursday to pray for peace — not in some faraway land, but here in the U.S.

The nation has been racked with protests since the death of George Floyd, an African American, in police custody May 25 in Minneapolis, deepening political and philosophical differences dividing the nation.

“We know if things are going to change, it’s going to happen because of God,” the Rev. Vaughn Foster said, asking for Divine intervention “not just in looking past our differences, but recognizing in our differences we get a little closer to You.”

The service, held in front of Friendship Room on Logan Avenue, featured representatives of several denominations including Foster, as well as Friendship Room’s Molly McGovern.

The Rev. Matthew Moore of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church said faith can bring “a sense of unity in a world deeply divided.”

“Be the source of peace for a world that’s dispirited and broken,” Moore pleaded.

The Rev. Drake McCalister, associate, Holy Family Catholic Church, said people need to learn forgiveness.

“Be at the forefront of the change that needs to come,” he asked.

Bishop Roy Dawkins of Greater Zion Temple said the nation “needs healing right now.” As protests continue across the nation, Dawkins said they were “praying (peoples’) hearts and minds turn towards You.”

“We pray for peace right now,” he said. “Let there be peace, not just in this city, this county, this state and this nation, but all over the world. These are perilous times, you said they were coming and they’re here.”

“Teach us to be peacemakers,” Holy Family Deacon Ed Kovach said.

“Look upon your children … that we can live together in peace,” his wife, Martha, added.

McGovern told the group her prayer is that, “before we look to others for blame, we look to our own hearts that need to be cleansed.”

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