Victims of Gulf Oil Spill Remembered
in Worship Service
Session delegates express solidarity with governors’ call to prayer.
The divine worship service during the first Sabbath of the Seventh-day Adventist Church World session featured an expression of prayer support for those affected by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The public demonstration occurred as an Adventist response to calls for prayer by the governors of four of the states that border the gulf: Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas.
Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, the state most directly affected by the disaster, issued a proclamation on Thursday, June 25, declaring Sunday, June 27 a “Statewide Day of Prayer.”
In his own statement Texas governor Rick Perry said, “I urge Texans of all faiths and religious traditions to offer prayer on that day for the healing of individuals, the rebuilding of communities, and the restoration of the entire Gulf Coast environment in the wake of this disaster.”
Some 40,000 Seventh-day Adventists meeting in the Georgia Dome for the church’s General Conference session, set aside a few moments during the worship service for Lowell Cooper, a general vice president of the General Conference, to pray for those affected by the tragedy during his morning prayer.
In his prayer Cooper said, “We think especially at this time of those whose lives are so deeply scarred by famine, war, and disaster. We pray for those in this country whose livelihood is imperiled by the oil spill in the gulf area. Let our collective concern and sympathy give rise to a response that inspires hope and delivers help to those who suffer most.”
The idea of bringing this matter before the Adventists assembled in the Georgia Dome came on Friday morning, July 25 from Jan Paulsen, recently retired president of the General Conference, at the meeting of the session Steering Committee. In light of media reports of the proclamations made by several governors, Paulsen encouraged those planning the worship service to make this a matter of prayer at Sabbath’s worship service.
“The governors of these states have issued a call to prayer,” said Paulsen. “Prayer is part of our lives. We need to express solidarity with those who have been so directly affected by this tragedy.”