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Adelaide Latter-day Saints united with women of other Christian denominations on Friday 3 March for World Day of Prayer.

World Day of Prayer is held annually on the first Friday of March and had its inception in 1922. It was created by women of faith as a call for compassion, understanding and action regarding specific issues facing women, children and individuals in various countries around the world.

Benedicta Sorrell, from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ congregation at Prospect, accepted the invitation to be one of the readers at the prayer service held at St Aidan’s Anglican Church in Payneham.

It was a moving experience for Benedicta who was born in The Philippines, the country whose people were the focus of this year’s worldwide unified prayers.

“It was especially meaningful for me as the outpouring of faith and prayer was for a country and a people that are close to my heart,” she explained. “I was really touched by people’s kindness to do this, and it was a privilege to be a part of the worldwide event.”

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Benedicta Sorrell led part of the World Day of Prayer service from St Aidan’s pulpit

LDS participant Caroline McIlwaine of the Firle ward, also led a reading: “This year’s programme was written by women in The Philippines and as we read our parts, it was their voices, their concerns, their hopes for their people that were heard.

“It was more than worship with words; it was about increasing understanding and unity and recognising that faith is a principle of action. That we can all do something to ease the burdens of others.”

The 2017 theme was “Am I being unfair to you?”, a question linked to the New Testament parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matthew ch 20, vs 1-16).

The dag-yaw system among Filipino rice farmers who call on neighbours to help with planting and harvesting was highlighted in the service as good practice for building and sustaining a community, and enacting care and compassion. In dag-yaw no one is paid but all share in the harvest.

Next year’s World Day of Prayer will focus on the people of Suriname in South America.

Guest Speaker and Rotarian Siony Gardiner, who was also born in The Philippines, speaks with Benedicta Sorrell after the prayer service.

Guest Speaker and Rotarian, Siony Gardiner, pictured with Benedicta Sorrell after the prayer service