There is something lovely that happens on the first Friday of March in Tamworth and, in fact, in 170 countries around the world.
Christians of all denominations come together in one church to worship God and pray for one country. They call it The World Day of Prayer.
This year, the church was the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Kent Street and the country was Slovenia.
Slovenia is a little country in southern Europe, next to Italy. It is one-third the size of Tasmania and has a population of two million, half of whom identify as Christian.
So it was that Friday March 1st saw an eclectic mix of men and women from many churches in Tamworth come together for a service of worship, information about Slovenia and prayer for its people. Guest speaker, Linelda Tippo, an indigenous pastor from Moree, spoke about Jesus’ parable of the great banquet.
She reflected on the immense privilege of being invited into Jesus’ inner circle and the irony, that some people will go to any lengths to avoid it. But Jesus takes his invitation to those who are considered unclean, and they accept.
Many people in Slovenia still live in bitterness and despair from the devastation of World War II and years of communist oppression.
Since the nation came into existence in 1991, the march towards self-sufficiency has been slow.
As an act of love, an offering was taken to support a Bible Society initiative bringing healing and hope to women in Slovenia through small group Bible study.
Next year’s World Day of Prayer will be held at the Baptist church and will focus on Zimbabwe.