Community logs on to pray for protection from virus
THE South Burnett community gathered on Palm Sunday to pray for the region to be safe from the coronavirus.
But the faithful weren't gathered in a church, instead they logged on for the experience, led by pastors and councillors on Facebook live video on Sunday afternoon.
Organiser of the prayer session, Councillor Kathy Duff, said she was inspired by the unity seen at the prayers for rain event held in Wondai last year which was attended by more than 100 people.
"We wanted to show we're supporting the community through prayers and faith," Cr Duff said.
"We're trying to unite the whole region through this."
She partnered with Damien Martoo from the Martoo Review and pastors from the Barambah Ministers Association to make the online service happen.
"I know God hears our prayers and is listening," Cr Duff said.
"With the COVID-19 and all these issues with the shops, the struggles and different ways people have to operate with these new rules - I know God will be listening and that we can make a real difference."
Cr Duff said the prayer session was especially important as all of the region's churches were closed, so it provided another way for Christians to connect.
She was joined for the service by her niece Bridget O'Shannessy, who sang hymns.
Pastor Lyle Slinger urged people to pray for protection from the coronavirus.
"We are praying we are protected from it, God gives us authority to pray for the sick, for the drought to break and for COVID-19 to go," he said.
He encouraged the community not to fear or be anxious about the current situation.
Incumbent mayor Keith Campbell also led the community in prayer.
"Remember God is the master of miracles and we ask you will curb the virus from spreading further," he said.
He prayed for safety for the medical workers and emergency crews handling the influx of patients, and wisdom for those coming up with a cure.
Pastor Chris Downes encouraged the community to pray for protection, provision, peace, opportunity to do good, and wisdom during this time.
He challenged the community to make their own cross in the lead-up to Easter Sunday next weekend.
People can watch the full service on the Martoo Review Facebook page.