Defiance 2021 Community Day of Prayer Goes Virtual | Local News
On Thursday, the 2021 Defiance Community Day of Prayer was held as a virtual Zoom meeting, in conjunction with the National Day of Prayer. The guest speaker for the local event was Phil Nofziger, Regional Director of Defiance at LifeWise Academy.
The theme of this year’s event was: Matthew 19:14: “Jesus said, ‘Let little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for these are the kingdoms of heaven.'”
After canceling last year’s event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers were delighted to present the eighth annual gathering via Zoom. A total of 74 participants were online for the event, which included watch evenings at local churches.
Aaron Rosario of Xperience Church performed Christian music for those who joined the Zoom meeting before noon, while Sarah Tackett, executive director of the Defiance Area Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Community Day of Prayer committee Defiance, greeted everyone at the start of the program. .
“This is our eighth annual gathering, it would have been our ninth, but last year we had to just ask people to come out and say a noon prayer,” Tackett said. “This year, we are delighted to see all of you join us as we come together to pray for our community.”
Tackett shared an opening prayer, before introducing Rich Seward, Executive Director of the Defiance Area YMCA and member of the Defiance Community Day of Prayer Committee.
Seward shared Nofziger is a retired teacher / principal who has spent 37 years in education; he and his wife, Robin, a resident of Defiance, have three grown children and five grandchildren; and that Nofziger serves as the Regional Director of Defiance and the Northwestern Ohio Field Director for LifeWise Academy.
Seward then introduced Nofziger, who gave his presentation from the LifeWise Academy building located near the local Ayersville schools. Nofziger explained that when he was introduced to LifeWise Academy, he knew he had to get involved.
Nofziger said: “My wife, Robin, and I thought as retirees that we were going to spend time traveling, spending time with our grandchildren and volunteering. We didn’t know at the time that God was on us. was reserving even more. Two and a half years ago Robin and I were introduced to Free Time Religious Education (RTRI), and to us, and to many of you, this concept was a secret hidden that comes to life thanks to LifeWise Academy. “
LifeWise Academy is a character-based RTRI program that allows public school students to leave school during school hours to receive Bible instruction.
The RTRI is legal for the following reasons: students can only participate in the program with parental permission; it is entirely financed by the private sector; and it is held off school property, even if it takes place during school hours.
Nofziger shared a pair of videos on LifeWise Academy, one on how she got started at Van Wert and one on what’s happening for Grades 1-6 attending Ayersville Elementary School.
“When we started this two years ago in Ayersville, I remember we only had four little girls in our second year class, but today we now serve 75% of the students from first to fourth. sixth year, and we look forward to serving 90% or more, just like our flagship product at Van Wert, ”said Nofziger.
The director of LifeWise Academy said the program will arrive at Defiance City schools this fall, where K-5 students will be served at the YMCA Defiance Area. Nofziger asked for prayers, volunteers and financial support for LifeWise Academy. He shared that a student’s participation costs around $ 120 per student per year. Nofziger expects around 1,000 young people from Defiance Primary School to be served.
Following Nofziger’s remarks, community leaders offered prayers of blessing for various aspects of life in the community.
Jane Myers said a prayer of blessing for schools / education; Justice Jeff Strausbaugh delivered a prayer for the elect; Lisa Bloomfield prayed for businesses / nonprofits; Ashley Sowder said a prayer for the young; Darline Clemens prayed for families / community; Steve Grube delivered a prayer for churches / religious communities; Aaron Hopson prayed for the first responders; Michael Gilbert prayed for the caregivers / health workers; and Sean O’Donnell delivered a prayer for the military / veterans.
Paula Iynott closed the program with a prayer.
For those who were unable to attend the meeting live, a recording of it can be found on the Defiance 2021 Community Day of Prayer page on Facebook.
Concluded Tackett: “Thank you all for being with us today, we encourage you all to pray throughout the year for our community, our state and our nation. I look forward to seeing you all there. next year’s event, God bless you all. “