By MAGGIE MENDERSKI
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
Bishop E.L. Warren raised his hands on Sunday and asked God to watch over public safety officials, just as they watch over the community. He also thanked God for every year law enforcement goes without losing an officer and every time firefighters return safely from a burning building.
The Cathedral of Worship, 215 N. 25th, celebrates Blue and White Day each year. This special service honors the men and women who risk their lives daily to protect the community. The bishop and the congregation dedicated the morning to praying for the safety of the officials and the peace of mind of their family members.
"When I see these guys driving, I don't hesitate to pray," Warren said.
Quincy Police Chief Robert Copley, Quincy Fire Chief Joe Henning, Adams County Sheriff Brent Fischer and members of their departments joined the congregation in the prayerful celebration. Henning recognized many members of his fire department aligned with different faiths, and he welcomed the Cathedral of Worship's eagerness to pray for the whole department.
"We feel these prayers every day, and we're very appreciative," Henning said.
Copley, too, expressed gratitude for the important role faith plays in the community as well as within his department. He said that each portion of the community has a part to play in safety, and he thanked the Cathedral of Worship for doing its part.
"I ask that you not only pray for us today but every day to continue to make the right decisions," Copley said.
As part of the Blue and White Day, the Cathedral of Worship partners with a department to aid a cause. This year, the church and the police department raised $500 for the Quincy Soup Kitchen, a ministry of Horizons Social Services of Adams County. Warren said he had referred several people to Horizons, and he felt the need to contribute to their mission.
"We don't have a soup kitchen, but we can certainly help with yours," Warren said.
This interfaith soup kitchen serves roughly 70 meals a day, five days per week. Sarah Stephens, executive director of Horizons, said the soup kitchen served more than 25,000 hot meals last year to those in-need.
The church teamed up with the Quincy Fire Department last year to support medical care for Ella Cain, a toddler who suffered nearly fatal burns in a house fire in January 2012. The church invited Ella and her family to attend Sunday's service. Warren said the little girl's recovery is a testimony to what God and God's people can accomplish when they work collectively.
"Together, we can get a lot done," Warren said.