Prayer Vigil Set For Christmas Eve in Toccoa

Members of the local community are organizing a prayer vigil this Christmas Eve to pray for an end to violence in the wake of last Friday’s school shooting in Connecticut.

St. Matthias Episcopal Church is organizing the silent, non-denominational prayer vigil that will take place on Christmas Eve from 7 to 10 p.m. at Terrell Park, which is located right next to First Franklin Financial on Tugalo Street in downtown Toccoa.

The church’s pastor, the Rev. Mary Demmler, said that the church feels that it is important to take time to remember those in Connecticut this holiday season.

“As a church, we felt like we needed something that we felt like we could do to lift up our brothers and sisters up there and so we could not imagine a more fitting way to mark the birth of the King of Peace than to taking some time to pray for our brothers and sisters, both those who lost their lives and also those this Christmas who have presents sitting under their tree that won’t be opened and prepared a Christmas for children that won’t be there to enjoy it, so we thought it would be just a moment to hold them up and lift them up in prayer,” said the Rev. Demmler.

She went on to say, however, that the vigil will take time to think about victims of violence wherever they may be this holiday season.

“While this is an instance that happened in our own national community, violence rips families and communities apart all around the world every day and we really pray we see an end to that or at least a lessening of the violence in the world,” said the Rev. Demmler.

Again, the vigil is non-denominational and there will be no speakers, only silent prayer.

The Rev. Demmler said anyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.

“Anybody is welcome to come,” said the Rev. Demmler. “You do not have to be there at 7. You can get there at 9:45 and still partake because it is simply a time of quiet prayer and meditation. You can come any time you want and stay as little or as long as you want.”

For more information, call the St. Matthias Episcopal Church office at 706-886-4413.