Some think we held a prayer service and no one came. Wrong!

For those  who are not Orthodox, they think we held a prayer service and no one came.  They are wrong!  We know that Jesus Christ and all the saints were there.  It was standing room only. This Saturday (yesterday), we held a prayer service at St. Mary’s for peace and healing in Gaza and all of the Holy Land.  Father Theodosius was there, as were a reporter for the South Bend Tribune and a newspaper photographer.  We guess that Jesus taped the reporter on the shoulder and whispered in his ear because he wrote a great story. It takes up most of the front page of Sunday’s South Bend Tribune.

Thank you to all who while unable to join us, did joined your prayers with ours. There is great power in prayer.  And because of that, there will continue to be prayers for peace and healing every day in our the parish church.  The prayer service for peace and healing will continue this next week, Monday through Friday, at 12 noon.  St. Mary’s is located at 1000 South Michigan Street, Plymouth, Indiana.  If you need directions to the church, please call the church at 574-952-4671.

We also want to thank Tom Moor the South Bend Tribune reporter and his photographer, and Tom’s editor for writing and running the story.  You can read Tom’s story online at:  Tom’s email is at the end of the article.  Why don’t you write Tom and telling what you think.

Also here is the story as it appears:

Muslim, Orthodox Jew inspire Plymouth pastor's prayers for peace
Tribune Staff Writer

PLYMOUTH — Father Theodosius Walker was praying at St. Mary's Orthodox Community Church New Year's Eve when two men walked inside, looking for a place to pray.

One was an Orthodox Jew; the other a Muslim.

Walker said the men, whom he had never seen before in his life, came within a couple minutes of each other.

"All three had very different viewpoints on what was going on," Walker said. "But the fact all three could pray and not say it's your fault and point fingers, said something.

"My perception is that it was two older men who knew their faith, whether it was Jewish or Muslim, and knew that God called on us to pray. They stayed awhile and had a coffee without any political discussion. Both made comments about praying for peace and an end to the conflict.

"That was providence."

It was the kind of coming together of three very different viewpoints that led someone like Walker to believe there is still hope in this world, despite a conflict thousands of miles away in the Gaza Strip between Hamas and Israel.

The conflict has killed more than 460 Palestinians, including dozens of civilians, and four Israelis, the Associated Press reported Saturday.

Walker held a prayer service Saturday morning "for peace and justice in Gaza and rest of the Holy Land," which the pastor said was recently suggested last week by the heads of the Christian churches in Jerusalem.

Nobody showed up at St. Mary's on Saturday, but Walker prayed anyway.

"There has to be another way, another choice," Walker said.

Because the service was advertised in the newspaper, Walker said, he received 15 or 20 e-mails and about seven or eight phone calls from people around the world — all positive toward what he was doing.

"People saying, 'We can't be there but will be praying with you,'" Walker said.

But two people, he said, including a Christian pastor, called him anti-Semitic for holding such a service, and another called him un-patriotic. Walker said he does not believe in war, but supports this country's armed forces, of which his son-in-law and daughter are members.

"It bothered me," Walker said. "This is not a protest. This is not to make a statement, but to do what God has called on us to do. I received a proclamation."

Walker says both sides should take blame for what is going on and called the battle in Gaza "downright wrong."

"They have to find a better way," he said. "There's definitely another choice. We need to spend time to fix both sides of it."

Walker, meanwhile, will continue to pray. And like on New Year's Eve, everyone is welcome.

Staff writer Tom Moor:
(574) 235-6555


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