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Lathrop planning three events on May 5
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LATHROP – Lathrop’s very first National Day of Prayer is shaping up to be a challenging one, at least, for the organizers.

While many communities like Manteca will be holding only one event, Lathrop will have three gatherings planned:

•6:30 a.m. prayer breakfast at Grace Community Church on J Street next to the Lathrop-Manteca Fire station,

•Noon prayer meeting at Lathrop City Hall, 390 Towne Centre Drive at Mossdale Landing, and,

•7 p.m. prayer service back at Grace Community Church.

The morning, noon and evening prayer services are designed to allow as many people as possible to take part in this community event, said Lathrop National Day of Prayer chairman Steve Dresser. Those who work during the day and cannot make it to the prayer breakfast will have the choice of attending the one in the evening or at noon, he said.

According to tentative plans, representatives of various industries, businesses and other groups will be offering prayers for the various sectors of society. At the City Hall gathering, for example, prayers for those serving in government and those in the military will be offered.

Free breakfast will be served during the morning gathering, with a brown bag offered at noon, and cookies and punch in the evening, said Dresser.

Breakfast will be courtesy of the members of the Lathrop Rotary and Lions service clubs who will be selling business ads on the placemats to help defray some of the costs involved.

The Lathrop Prayer Committee meets every other week to hash out the plans for the Thursday, May 5, event. Living Word and Lathrop Christian Center are two of the churches to date that are helping put together Lathrop’s first ever National Day of Prayer observance. The churches that have stepped forward to organize the event include the Lathrop Lighthouse Church (Pastor Tim Voogt), Lathrop Christian Center (Pastor Eric Baca), Grace Community Church (Pastor Bill Barnett), and Living Word (Pastor Johnny Clarke), Lighthouse Community Baptist (Pastor Damon Covatt). Among the individuals who are also involved are former Lathrop councilman Bob Gleason, Lucius Davis of the Lathrop Senior Advisory Commissin, and John Wall of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church.

Wall has set up a web site that provides information about the upcoming day of prayer:

Web site visitors can post comments and list prayer requests. Links are also provided for youth, education, military and government.

“I am sure you all agree we need to unite as a community and work together to help make this City great. With our Lord’s help, we will accomplish this,” states part of the web site welcome message.

Holding a National Day of Prayer event for Lathrop is the brainchild of Dresser, a former Lathrop councilman.

“I’ve been going to the one in Manteca – and so do other people from Lathrop – every year,” he said, when it occurred to him, “what’s Lathrop waiting for?

“We’ve got lots of churches in Lathrop. Let’s see if we can pool them together” and have a Lathrop Day of Prayer, Dresser said.

A phone call to the various church groups and their pastors resulted in the formation of a committee that is currently meeting regularly to discuss the program on May 5.

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