Updated 07/15/2011 06:48 PM
Churches organize prayer service following explosion
Following the fatal house explosion in Salem, local churches are organizing a community-wide prayer service. Our C.J. Spang has more.
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SALEM, N.Y. -- As family and friends mourn the loss of their loved ones killed in Wednesday's house explosion, two local churches are organizing a prayer service, in an effort to help the shaken community. The service will be Sunday at 5 p.m. at the old courthouse in Salem.
"We think that there's a lot of power in coming together for prayer and for healing," said United Methodist Church Pastor Debbie Earthrowl. "Because when we come together, we have the opportunity to support each other, but also to inspire each other."
Community members are also creating prayer books, filled with inspirational words, that they'll give to first responders and the families of those affected by the explosion.
"Being a pastor, we always say that you're not in this alone," said First United Presbyterian Church Pastor Donna Jackson. "And coming together, it makes you realize, you aren't alone in this life. And you gain support from one another."
Service organizers believe the small town will persevere through the difficult time.
"The spirit of the community is incredible," said Reverend Jackson. "Instead of that one more thing happening and crushing them. They rally together and they find hope and they say, 'We can do this. We can get past this. We can survive and come out even better.' And that's what truly remarkable about Salem."
The entire community is invited to the informal service.