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A gathering of prayer
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Community leaders and local church organizations have come together to organize a community prayer event called "Community On Our Knees" at 7 p.m. tomorrow, Aug. 11, at the Covington square.

The organization was created to pray for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year for all students, families, teachers, administrators, bus drivers, janitors, cafeteria workers, Board of Education elected officials and all Newton County School system employees.

The event will last an hour and will be a service filled with fellowship, music and prayers. Residents who attend or work for a school are encouraged to wear their school colors or clothing with their school labels.

There will also be a prayer wall on the downtown square from 9 a.m. through the evening prayer event. Locals can sign their names and put their handprints on the wall. The wall will have two crosses at each end; residents will be provided with pieces of cloth to write their prayers and tie them to the cross.

"The idea is that we're coming together as a community. It doesn't matter what your denomination or faith is. It's the community coming together to support each other and the school system," said Claudia Minge, the administrative assistant of Covington First United Methodist Church.

"It's been an amazing thing to be a part of, to see all these different churches come together. It's amazing to work with all these different people. It's about prayer, our community and our love for Jesus."

Fourteen local churches and community leaders, such as the mayor, pastors, children's directors, youth directors and special events coordinators for churches, will be in attendance.

With the increasing competition to get good grades, do well in extra curricular activities and the pressures of drugs, violence and alcohol, students have to overcome difficulties throughout the school year.

Parents and school employees face the challenges to teach, guide and lead these children to be successful, responsible adults. Community officials and civil servants face the challenge of providing the best facilities, resources, protection, environment and community for students.

"Community On Our Knees" was started to give hope and remind these individuals to never lose their faith.

"We [local churches] all in some way have some celebration about the school year in our different churches. We decided to come together as a community of faith and go to the central location, which we feel is the downtown square and come together and pray," Minge said.