Local churches in Malheur County organize interfaith day of fasting and prayer

Religious organizations throughout the western Treasure Valley are banding together for an interfaith community day of prayer and fasting on Good Friday – April 10. (The Enterprise/Yadira Lopez)

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ONTARIO – Pastor Tom Greco was in the middle of a virtual sermon Sunday when he got a text from Evelyn Dame. 

Dame, the communications director for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ontario, had an idea. How about an interfaith community day of prayer and fasting? 

She and Greco, who leads Ontario Community Church, spread the word and organized the event, set for Good Friday – April 10.

“We’re encouraging people individually or as a family to unite their prayers and to spend the day fasting and in prayer as much as they can,” said Dame, adding that the goal is to send a message of peace, hope and unity in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dame had seen lots of calls online for a worldwide day of fasting on Good Friday, including from her own church. But organizers of the local event wanted to scale things down to a more personal level. 

The response from local religious leaders was overwhelmingly positive, said Greco, the lead pastor for the Western Treasure Valley Ministerial Association.

In order to enforce social distancing guidelines, the event won’t involve any sort of physical gathering. 

“If a congregation wants to set parameters or do something special that’s their call,” said Greco. 

Community members who are unable to fast are encouraged to make some other sacrifice such as give up television, or their phones or even coffee. 

Greco sent out a list of prayer suggestions for people who may be struggling at this time.

“Some people, although they pray, they say I’m not sure how to pray for this,” said Greco. 

The list recommends praying for leaders and health professionals. 

“If we put our faith together and unite in that cause we’re hoping we’ll be able to impart some blessings on our community,” Dame said. 


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