Colette M. Jenkins

The Summit County National Day of Prayer Task Force is calling community members to prayer at noon Thursday on the steps of the Summit County Courthouse, 209 S. High St. in downtown Akron.

The prayer program is in observance of the 62nd annual National Day of Prayer. The day, designated by the United States Congress, is a time when the nation’s faithful come together to pray.

The local courthouse event, which focuses on a need to pray for America and her leaders and citizens, is a Judeo-Christian expression of the national observance.

In addition to the prayer gathering, the local task force will also sponsor its annual Bible reading marathon and prayer vigil.

The vigil and reading, which takes place on Cascade Plaza in downtown Akron, begins at 4 p.m. Sunday and continues around the clock until shortly before Thursday’s prayer gathering. A concert of prayer and praise for teens is 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at Arlington Church of God, 539 S. Arlington St. in Akron. For more information about task force events, call 330-996-0602.

Other National Day of Prayer observances include the annual Community Prayer Breakfast at 7 a.m. Thursday at Grace Brethren Church, 3970 S. Cleveland–Massillon Road, Norton. The keynote speaker is the Rev. Kenneth D. Price, a second career pastor who serves as a certified trainer for the Bridges Out of Poverty program. Tickets are $10 and must be purchased in advance. For more information, call 330-825-7676.

The National Day of Prayer dates back to 1775 when the Continental Congress encouraged prayer from the colonists while they were building a nation; it was made official in 1952 by President Harry Truman, who signed it into law. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan established that the day of prayer would be celebrated on the first Thursday of May. It has no government funding and organizing is left to private groups.

This year’s National Day of Prayer Task Force theme is “Pray for America.” The scripture chosen to highlight the theme is Matthew 12:21 — “In His name the nations will put their hope.” More information can be found at nationaldayofprayer.org

In other religion news:

Events

Akron Area Interfaith Council — at Unitarian Universalist Church, 3300 Morewood Road, Fairlawn. 3 p.m. May 5. The fourth annual AAIC Hunger Walk will be held, with more than 300 walkers expected to participate. Registration is at 2 p.m. Walk starts and ends at the church. A hot soup social will follow. The 2½-hour walk is on the sidewalks of West Market Street, with police support at crossing points. It is a fundraiser for the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. People of all faiths welcome, free and open to the public. Children welcome with parent approval, as are pets. 330-329-5132.

Centenary United Methodist Church — 1310 Superior Ave., Akron. 4 p.m. Sunday. The Ushers Anniversary will be held. It will be a worship and praise service with the Rev. Vaughn Gleaves. 330-376-9648.

Emmanuel United Church of Christ — 1480 Eastwood Ave., Akron. 8 a.m. today. Church members will participate in a denomination-wide program called Mission 4:1, in conjunction with Keep Akron Beautiful activities. They will meet at Brittain Road and Newton Street to clean up Reservoir Park, expected to take about 1½ hours. Mission 4:1 is an outreach ministry of the church, from March 31-May 19, when congregations are encouraged to become involved in activities that promote the care and stewardship of the earth.

The church has also announced the Rev. Steven Lashbook will be the new pastor. Lashbrook has been pastor of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Manistee, Mich., the past 10 years. He is a native of Iowa, and a graduate of Yankton College in South Dakota and Andover Newton Theological School in Boston.

Faith United Methodist Church of Brimfield — 1235 Tallmadge Road, Brimfield Township. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today. A rummage sale will be held. Clothing, books and perennials in pots or bags among the sale items. Proceeds benefit Henderson Mission Team, Building a Better Brimfield, Open M hot lunch program and school supplies for Brimfield Community Cupboard.

Family of Faith United Methodist Church — 800 E. Market St., Akron. 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday. Creamed chicken/biscuits and Swiss steak dinner. Adults $9, ages 4-12 $5. Carryout available. 330-376-2141.

Good Shepherd Baptist Church — 853 Copley Road, Akron. 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Annual Spring Revival, led by the Rev. Horace L. Drake and the Rev. Rodney McNab Sr. of St. Mark at Bethel Baptist Church in Pittsburg, Calif. 330-762-6795.

Grace and Glory Fellowship — 2128 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls. 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday. Ruckins McKinley, international prophet and Christian entertainer with G.O.D. (Generation of Demonstration) Ministries from Irvine, Calif., will be ministering. 330-922-4871.

Grace United Church of Christ of Loyal Oak — 3285 Cleveland-Massillon Road, Norton. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 4. Rummage sale. Vases, dishes, toys, books, home decor and more. 330-825-3259.

Green Valley United Methodist Church — 620 E. Turkeyfoot Lake Road, Green. 5:30 p.m. May 4. Mother-child banquet. Adults $6, ages 6-10 $3, ages 5 and younger free. All proceeds go to church missions. 330-896-4357.

Journey Covenant Church — 2679 North Haven Blvd., Cuyahoga Falls. 6 to 7 p.m. April 30. Free, hot dinner to local residents on the last Tuesday of every month. Christ Kitchen Dinners are open to the public. 330-923-8021.

Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church — 401 Robert St., Akron. 4 p.m. Sunday. Fellowship with members of Mount Haven Baptist Church. At 7 p.m. Friday, a women’s fellowship service will take place. Elder Ezella Ford will be guest speaker.

New Mission Missionary Baptist Church — 150 Wayne Ave., Akron. 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday. Celebrating the 34th annual Women’s Day. Morning service guest speaker will be Cynthia Taylor of Faith & Prayer Outreach Ministries, and the afternoon speaker will be the Rev. Keisha Bell of United Baptist Church. 330-724-3254.

Our Lady of Grace Church — 1088 Ridge Road, Hinckley Township. Second annual Bloom N’ Book Sale will be Thursday through May 5. More than 10,000 books and 1,000 potted plants from about 175 varieties of flora will be offered. Casual wine and cheese tasting will be from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, $10 admission. Call 330-278-4466 for reservations. The weekend sale (free admission) is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and May 4, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 5 with luncheons, raffles and giveaways. For information, call 330-278-4121.

Providence Baptist Church — 458 Madison Ave., Akron. 10 a.m. May 4. Annual Jennie C. Payne Rainbow Tea. Everyone welcome. Free to the public.

Redeemer North Hill United Methodist Church — 265 East Cuyahoga Falls Ave., Akron. 4 to 6:30 p.m. Friday. Souper Supper fundraiser. Homemade soups at $5 each with crackers, bread, beverage and dessert. 330-923-1191.

River Church — 634 Canton Road, Akron. 6:30 p.m. today. Opening celebration service for a new church. 330-690-3854.

Shiloh Missionary Baptsit Church — 700 Market Ave. S., Canton. 6 p.m. May 4. The 88th church anniversary will be observed with an anniversary banquet at Windsor Hall, 2651 Columbus Road NE. Speaker is the Rev. Robert L. Golson, pastor of Prince of Peace Baptist Church in Akron. Adults $25, ages 12 and younger $12. 330-456-3660.

Trinity United Church of Christ — 3909 Blackburn Road NW, Plain Township. 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. today. Annual rummage sale. Household goods, clothing, furniture, jewelry, electronics, tools, exercise equipment, toys, antiques and more. Donuts, coffee, hot dogs, chips and soda available for purchase. 330-492-3383.

Westminster Presbyterian Church — 1250 West Exchange St., Akron. 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. today. Flapjacks and Flowers. The Kiwanis pancake breakfast will be held to support the Akron Youth Symphony. Adults $6, ages 10 and under $3.50. A plant sale will be on the church patio. 330-836-2226.

Performances

Calvary Temple — 3045 Albrecht Ave., Akron. 7 p.m. today and 11 a.m. Sunday. A drama, The Mercy Seat, will be presented. Some intense scenes not suitable for children under age 12. The play was written and directed by Wanda Walker. 330-628-5753.

Church of Our Saviour — 471 Crosby St., Akron. 4 p.m. May 5. The Parish Choir Does Broadway, with the choir and soloists. Includes medleys from The Sound of Music and A Chorus Line. 330-535-9174.

Cottage Grove Evangelical Congregational Church — 3133 Cottage Grove Road, Coventry Township. 6 p.m. Sunday. Christ Unlimited will be singing.

Speakers, classes,

workshops

First Baptist Church of Massillon — 20 Sixth St. SE, Massillon. The Coming Alive Women’s Conference will be held Friday and May 4. It is a 1½-day event for women by women. Speakers are women leaders who have learned to rise up against hardship, addictions, adversity and tragedy to live with peace, joy and purpose. Included is Massillon native Tina Miller-Levene, author of a newly released book titled Let Your Lessons Become Your Blessings. For tickets, call Rob at 330-737-1031 or go to www.riseupconferences.org.

First Friday Club of Greater Akron — at University of Akron Martin Center, 105 Fir Hill. Noon May 10. Dr. Paul Lakeland, professor of Catholic Studies at Fairfield (Conn.) University, will be guest speaker. His topic is The Vatican II Church: Lay Ministry, Lay Leadership. Luncheon cost is $15. Doors open at 11:15 a.m. For more information, call 330-535-7668 or visit www.firstfridayclubofgreaterakron.org.

Mogadore Christian Church — 106 S. Cleveland Ave., Mogadore. 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Joe Tucker will be guest speaker at morning worship. His topic is the April mission focus on South Street Ministries, which has been assisting the people of the Summit Lake and South Akron areas. The effort includes Bible studies, tutoring programs, summer camps and sports programs. 330-628-3344.

The deadline for Religion Notes is noon Tuesday. Items must be in writing. Please fax information to 330-996-3033, email it to religion@thebeaconjournal.com or send it to Religion, Akron Beacon Journal, 44 E. Exchange St., Akron, OH 44309.