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Community to pray as children return to school

Students across Johnson County stocked up on pencils and pens, notebooks and folders, in preparation for returning to school.

But local faith leaders want to add one more thing to their list of must-haves: community prayers to help them succeed in their school year.

A community praise and prayer rally will be held Sunday at 6 p.m. in the auditorium at Franklin Community High School. Area pastors will lead the group together in prayer for students, parents, faculty and staff before the start of the school year.

“If God brings us together a few times a year, that seems to me like it allows us to see the big picture, influence each other and impact the community as a whole,” Gary said. Walker, pastor of Franklin City Church.

Following the general assembly, the public is invited to go to the school of their choice to pray around the flagpole. A pastor and teacher from each school will be present at each Franklin school, as well as at Franklin College, to help lead the small groups.

“We thought it was good to have a representative from each school there to specifically share what was going on in that particular building and that particular age group of students,” Walker said.

This is the ninth year for the community prayer event, which was founded in 2014 by the Franklin Community Church Prayer Team. The idea was to do a prayer walk around some of the local schools to pray for a positive school year.

Eventually, the idea evolved into holding a prayer and worship service at Franklin Community High School, bringing together a wide range of other churches and opening the event up to people from across the community.

Since then, the event has grown in the number of participating churches and people who took part.

The event is significant for two reasons, said Daniel Jepsen, pastor at Franklin Community Church.

“First, united prayer reminds us of where our true security and help comes from. They come from God, not from our own plans, rules and laws, however helpful they may be at times,” he said. “Second, it reminds us that we are all in this together. Franklin is a community, not a collection of independent individuals. What happens in schools happens to all of us.

Bringing people together allows them to praise and thank God for the blessings given to the community, regardless of their denomination, Walker said.

“It shows a certain unity and oneness when we are willing to sacrifice time for our own families, our own churches, and really come together as one greater body of Christ,” he said. “The Bible says when we do this, the world will notice.”

IF YOU ARE GOING TO

Community Praise and Prayer Gathering

What: An opportunity for students, parents, staff, teachers and community members to come together and pray for the upcoming school year.

When: 6 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Franklin Community High School Center for the Performing Arts, 2600 Cumberland Drive.

Open to the public. After the gathering, people are encouraged to go to one of the Franklin Schools, or Franklin College, where small prayer groups will gather around the flagpole of each location.