MACHIAS, Maine — The Washington County commissioners Thursday gave their approval to The River of God church to hold a prayer service to remember victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The Rev. Ralph Ackley of the Machias church appeared before the commissioners Thursday to ask permission to hold the hour of prayer for the nation on the steps and lawn of the county courthouse at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, the seventh anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Other churches in the Machias Bay Region will be part of the service, Ackley said.
The special prayer service is part of a nationwide effort called Cry Out America.
The Machias event will differ from the national event in time only. Ackley asked that the service be held at 6 p.m. for people who work days. The national event is scheduled for noon.
Cry Out America, according to its Web site, is part of the Awakening America Alliance, “a cooperative initiative within the body of Christ to increase awareness of the deep spiritual need in today’s America and to pursue a new Christ awakening in our nation that will impact our world.”
Cry Out America, Ackley said in a letter to the commission, represented more than 170 denominations.
Cry Out America is a “A Patriot Day Prayer Gathering,” according to the Awakening America Alliance’s Web site.
“On September 11, 2008 our nation will pause to remember the greatest ‘wake-up’ call in our generation, the terrorist attacks on 9-11-01. As part of Awakening America, a call is being issued for Christians across the nation to mark this significant day in our history with powerful prayer for America and the lost individuals of this country.
“In every one of the 3141 counties in the United States, during the noon lunch hour on September 11, Christians will unite around their county courthouse to cry out to God with focused prayer for their community, their lost friends and family, and for the spiritual condition of our nation.”