Chico residents unite in city plaza for national day of prayer


A morning breakfast, followed by prayer, was held Thursday at Grace Community Church before the downtown events. Photo courtesy Shawna Burhans.

Josh Cozine

Hundreds of Chicoans from dozens of local churches from all Christian denominations showed up Thursday at the city plaza to pray together for unity, and for the community.

The congregation was Chico’s take on the National Day of Prayer, which has taken place the first Thursday of May since 1952 when Congress designated it as a day of observance.

A group of onlookers seen at the downtown plaza Thursday. Crowds of more than 100 gathered and prayed together during the National Day of Prayer. Photo courtesy Shawna Burhans.

Local pastors first met for a prayer breakfast at Grace Community Church, before the main event started a little past noon in the downtown plaza.

Gaylord Enns, who has been a pastor in the local community for over three decades, helped to coordinate the gathering, and decided on the theme for the year, unity.

“I chose a couple paragraphs from the Ephesians letters that talked about unity, gentleness, patience and love,” Enns said. Each of the points became a “prayer point,” he said, and he invited local pastors to speak on each.

Local church pastors took stage at the downtown plaza Thursday, Andrew Burchett from Neighborhood Church is seen here. Photo courtesy Shawna Burhans.

The event lasted about an hour, and Enns said he was pleased with the number of people who attended this year.

Ed Krzyzek, a pastor at Grace Community Church, prayed in front of the group on the topic of gentleness, and said he was very excited for the event overall.

Ed Krzyzek from Grace Community Church spoke and prayed at the downtown plaza Thursday on the National Day of Prayer. Krzyzek prayed on the point of gentleness. Photo courtesy Shawna Burhans.

“It was a great time for people to come together and pray together,” he said, “I saw people praying for people, and praying for the city as a whole.”

Josh Cozine can be reached at [email protected] or @joshcozine on Twitter.