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Prayer and service are focus of Holy Week

A pot-luck luncheon, music and prayers will focus on Christ’s walk before his crucifixion and on first responders in a Holy Week service set for Wednesday in Brookhaven.

Members of all denominations are invited to the service, to be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Mt. Wade Baptist Church, 749 North Jackson St.

The service will be a reminder of what Christ faced before he died on the cross and how Jesus walks with us daily, said the Rev. Anne Matthews of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer.

The focus on first responders is because of community concerns since the fatal shootings of two Brookhaven police officers that shook the community last year, Matthews said.

Cpl. Zach Moak, 31, and Patrolman James White, 35, were killed in an exchange of gunfire with a suspect on Sept. 29, 2018.

“Police, firefighters, EMTs and other first responders face danger every day and live by the words, ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,’” Matthews said, quoting John 15:13.

The service is sponsored by the Lincoln County Chapter of Mission Mississippi. The group’s members are church leaders from various denominations across the county.

The organization is an inter-racial, inter-denominational group of pastors who meet monthly to share the needs of their churches and “efforts to promote unity so communities can see practical evidence of the Gospel message,” Matthews said.

The annual Holy Week service is an opportunity for the public to enjoy a joyful gathering tempered with the seriousness of the occasion and the importance of praying, according to Matthews.

The pot-luck lunch will be followed by a prayer service that starts at 12:15 p.m.

“Jesus, prayers and music unite us,” Matthews said.

The leaders of 13 area churches have agreed to participate. They can choose to pray for issues such as local, state and national needs, children, schools, teachers, victims of natural disasters and prisoners.

Matthews said first-responders who attend will be shown gratitude and commended for their sacrifices.

The Holy Week service also will focus on John 15:12, where Jesus said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

Mission Mississippi has grown to 30 chapters around the state is in its 26th year in Mississippi.

The Lincoln County Chapter was formed about six years ago, in 2013.

The group sponsors a community-wide service every Thanksgiving holiday.

“Much progress has been made in healing and reconciliation across racial and denominational lines,” said Matthews, “but much remains to be done.”

Story by Robin Eyman