The coronavirus pandemic has rewritten virtually every aspect of our daily lives, in the span of a month.
Schools, restaurants, bars and theaters are closed. Unemployment is at a record high. The national and global death tolls continue to rise exponentially each day. People are sick, isolated and scared.
If there ever was a time for prayer, it’s now.
Unfortunately, local faith leaders had no choice but to cancel this year’s Canby Prayer Breakfast at Cutsforth’s Old Town Hall, which traditionally coincides with the National Day of Prayer (May 7 this year).
Instead, the multidenominational effort of the local faith community has pivoted into something more appropriate for the COVID era — and something with the chance to make just as big, if not bigger, impact.
It’s something Pete Durkee, who helps organize the Canby Prayer Breakfast (formerly the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast) each year, is convinced has never happened before: a united Canby Prayer Guide, featuring daily prayers written by folks from the various churches in town.
“We are all greatly concerned about the COVID-19 situation, but this unification of Canby praying together gives us something we can do in love and unity to change the world,” Durkee said. “Prayer is one active thing you and I can do and still safely be connected with my fellow Canbyans.”
The guide includes prayers written by pastors, deacons and individual members from a wide swath of churches, one for each day from April 19 to May 7. Themes include prayers for Canby’s churches, the city, the county, the state, the nation and the world.
It grew out of an idea the Canby Prayer Breakfast Committee presented to the Canby Ministry Collective, a group of local faith leaders that meets every other month at The Canby Center.
“The guide came out of an idea to continue uniting the Christians of Canby, and not just on the National Day of Prayer,” Durkee said. ” We wanted to build something homegrown, grassroots, that reflected unity in prayers for the churches in the Canby area and their fellowships.”
The Canby Prayer Guide can be found at participating churches. There is also an online version and a downloadable PDF available on The Canby Center’s website.
“The Canby Prayer Guide lets us pray together in unity for Our Churches, Our Canby, Our Clackamas County, Our Oregon, Our Nation and Our World,” Durkee said. “The blessing of hundreds to thousands in Canby praying together on the same day for the same purpose, I know will be a blessing in heaven and to us.”
Pastor Ron Swor and his church, Canby Foursquare, contributed several prayers to the guide. In the most recent COVID-19 community update that his church has been hosting each week, he reminded viewers of the importance of continued prayer and staying connected with people.
“While social distancing is in place, it is not relational distancing,” he said. “We want you to stay connected with people. That always brings a level of mental and emotional health to our lives.”
For questions or more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below is a scene from the 2019 Canby Prayer Breakfast. We are sorry we can’t gather in person with you all this time. Next year!