Interfaith Council ‘Prayer Over the City’ returns to the St. George Tabernacle on New Year’s Day

A man prays at the Prayer Over the City, an annual event that features members of different faiths offering short prayers of hope and unity for the community in the coming year, St. George, Utah, Jan. 1, 2018 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE  “Prayer Over the City,” an annual New Year’s Day event promoting peace and unity for the coming year, returns to the St. George Tabernacle for 2019.

The Rev. Jimi Kestin welcomes the Rev. Alex Wilke, who has served the city’s faith community for over 50 years. Wilke offered the last prayer at the 2016 Prayer Over the City, St. George, Utah, Jan. 1, 2016 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Organized by the St. George Interfaith Council, Prayer Over the City will be held at noon in the tabernacle for the first time in two years.

The event had been held at the Eccles Center on the campus of Dixie State University while the tabernacle was renovated.

Read more: After renovation, church rededicates St. George Tabernacle, the ‘jewel of the desert’

Prayers will be offered by 16 faith leaders from churches in the St George area, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Presbyterian Church, Solomon’s Porch, Lutheran Church, Center for Spiritual Living, Jewish community, Community of Christ, Methodist, Baha’i and others.

Read more: St. George News’ 2018 “From Figures of Faith” holiday message series

Prayers will be focused on specific topics such as families, current and veteran military personnel, first responders, educators and more.

Rabbi Helene Ainbinder, vice president of the Interfaith Council and who leads Beit Chavarim Jewish congregation, said she enjoys the Prayer Over the City because of the unity it provides.

“All of us in the St George Interfaith Council are good friends,” Arinbinder said. “This Prayer Over the City shows our friendship and shows how we all work together.”

Prayer Over the City has a 14-year history that began with Pastor Jimi Kestin of Solomon’s Porch Foursquare Fellowship, when he gathered friends and other ministers at Pioneer Park by the Dixie Rock to pray to God to bless the city and its residents in the new year.

While faith traditions with differing beliefs and doctrines are represented at the event, they come together in a sense of fellowship during Prayer Over the City, Kestin said.

“There is not a single bit of doctrine that all of us in the St George Interfaith Council can agree on,” Kestin said. “But we are all friends and enjoy being together to strengthen the faith community here in St George.”

The program begins at noon New Year’s Day in the St. George Tabernacle, 18 S. Main St., St. George.

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Twitter: @STGnews

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