The Republic of Suriname on the north-eastern coast of South America was the country featured for the 2018 World Day of Prayer.
The service in Cleve was held in the Lutheran Church, led by Marlene Gaston, with readings from ladies of the Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran and Uniting churches.
The service program and hymns chosen were prepared by the Suriname World Day of Prayer Committee.
Suriname is a country with incredible flora and fauna, where people of different ethnicities live in peace with each other.
The program was based on God’s creation and preserving the environment for future generations.
Pastor Keith McNicol read the story of creation from Genesis Chapter 1: verses 1-31.
Women dressed in national attire of the countries where the various groups in Suriname came from introduced themselves.
Leah Jericho represented the Arawak Tribe, who were the first inhabitants, Glenda Evans dressed in attire from West Africa where enslaved Africans came from, Ruth Weiss dressed as a Chinese immigrant, Kay Darling represented the Creole people who are part African and part European and Marlene Gaston’s outfit represented the Dutch farmers from the Netherlands.
Mary Edwards in an Indian sari represented Indian ancestors and Elaine Schumann in Indonesian costume portrayed those settlers.
The foyer of the church was decorated with fruit and flowers and products of the region and a small Suriname flag.
A rich dessert cake made from the flour from the root of the cassava plant was served with cream at morning tea.
Father Paul Quirk finished the service on behalf of the Cleve Catholic Church, which will co-ordinate next year’s World Day of Prayer Service to be prepared by the women of Slovenia.