The Saratoga Sun -

PVMA to hold National Day of Prayer at PVCC

Ministerial association will hold prayer event in front of community center late Thursday morning, will be livestreamed on social media


Much like everything and everyone else over the past two months, the Platte Valley Ministerial Association (PVMA) has had to rethink how to hold the National Day of Prayer.

The observance of the National Day of Prayer has its roots in the founding of the United States and was formalized by President Harry S. Truman in 1952. Each year, the President of the United States signs a proclamation urging all Americans to pray on the first Thursday in May.

In recent years, the PVMA has held their observance for the National Day of Prayer at the Saratoga Senior Center, where church and community leaders have offered prayers for government, business, churches, education and more. Due to restrictions and closures caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the PVMA had to rethink how they traditionally observed this day.

“Just discussing with our other pastors in our ministerial association, we came up with some different ideas and one of them was to ask Joe Elder at the Saratoga (Platte Valley) Community Center (PVCC) if he would be willing to to allow us to do a live broadcast in front of the Saratoga Community Center and he was just very happy to oblige us and let us meet outside,” said Pastor Gene Smith of the Platte Valley Christian Center.

Smith is the PVMA member tasked with organizing the National Day of Prayer this year, a responsibility that is taken on by different members of the association. The past few years, Susan Dyer, the former reverend for St. Barnabas’ Episcopal Church, organized the event. Much like in past years, there are a number of guests lined up to provide prayer for different areas of the community.

Pastor David Cole of the Encampment Presbyterian Church will be providing the introduction and the Prayer of Thanksgiving; Saratoga Councilmember Steve Wilcoxson will be providing a prayer for local, state and federal government; Emily Detterer will be offering a prayer for education; Virginia Parker will be giving a prayer for first responders and healthcare professionals; Rory Grubb will be praying for businesses and employees in the community, Pastor Steve Nicolls of the Saratoga Presbyterian Church will be praying for the churches and Saratoga Sun Editor Joshua Wood will be providing a prayer for the press.

According to Smith, the PVMA is grateful for Elder providing the space in front of the PVCC for the National Day of Prayer and is also grateful for the technology that will allow them to reach regular attendees and those who might not have attended in the past.

“We have to be very grateful that we have this technology, while we’re under quarantine, to be able to still reach out to people. In one sense, we’re thankful for that. It does seem to reach people who may not normally attend church. So, that’s a plus as well. It gives us a different type of voice or different means where we can communicate in a different fashion or do some other methods rather than in a church setting,” Smith said. 

The downside, said Smith, is that it is during times like this when people most want to gather and talk with others. While it is not encouraged for people to physically attend the National Day of Prayer, Smith said that the PVMA isn’t opposed to people who want to park at the PVCC parking lot and stay in their vehicles for the event. In recent weeks, this has been a technique employed by other churches in Wyoming.

“We’ll just have it at the same time and broadcast that through Facebook to the community,” said Smith.

The National Day of Prayer will begin at 11:30 a.m. on May 7 in front of the Platte Valley Community Center. It will also be livestreamed on the Saratoga Sun Facebook page.


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