Members of seven area churches came together to celebrate the World Day of Prayer on Friday, March 1, at Grace United Methodist Church in Pequot Lakes.

Every year since the Day of Prayer's inception in 1920, a different country is chosen to write the worship service that will be shared internationally. This year, the women of the World Day of Prayer committee in Slovenia prepared the service, including cultural context specific to Slovenian people.

Hosted by Grace United Methodist Church, participants from Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Pequot Lakes; Christ Community Church, Lutheran Church of the Cross and St. Christopher's Catholic Church in Nisswa; Cornerstone Church in Emily; and Living Savior Lutheran Church in Lake Shore joined the celebration.

They enjoyed fresh-baked refreshments such as Slovenian bread called potica, Czech coffee cake and German bauembrot before heading into the sanctuary.

During the service, volunteers performed a dramatization of the Parable of the Great Banquet, where a host is slighted by the rich guests who refuse to come because they need to attend to their own possessions. The host, in turn, invites the poor and downtrodden to sit at the table instead, knowing they will appreciate it more even though they could never reciprocate.

The congregation heard the stories of five Slovenian women who experienced hardships and wished for solutions to problems such as unstable governments, lack of education, hunger, abuse and racism.

A combined handbell choir from Grace United Methodist Church and Lutheran Church of the Cross provided music for the service.

Next year, on the first Friday of March, the World Day of Prayer will focus on Zimbabwe.