Teens ring in new year with prayer
- Teens ring in new year with prayer
BY JODI RAVE LEE Lincoln Journal
While most of Lincoln went to
sleep at some point Sunday night or early this
morning, others brought in the New
Year with a sundown-to-sunrise
"We're hoping for a good blessing
out of this and to learn our own ways," said John
Pilcher, 17, a senior at
Lincoln High School who attended a
Native American Church ceremony at the Lincoln Indian
The prayer meeting was sponsored
by area teen-agers who were joined by their families
in a night of singing,
drumming and praying. Participants
planned to break their fast with a morning meal.
The church gathering provided
youths an alternative to typical end-of-the-year
"Our past New Year's Eves, we went
to some parties, we saw fights and alcohol and drugs,"
said Pilcher. "Like
none of that stuff will happen."
Instead, the prayer meeting marked
the young people's quest for spiritual and cultural
guidance in their lives and
for future generations.
"I was taught those ways, but,
like everybody else, I got lost," said Mechelle
Walker, a 17-year-old Lincoln
High School student who helped
sponsor the meeting.
Said Jeff Gilpin, a Native
American Church prayer leader in Omaha who has been
assisting the youths: "I'm
anxious and happy for these young
guys. As long as they show interest in it, I'll be
willing to spend my time down
there with them and talk to them
"That's what it all boils down to
Prior to the church meeting,
Gilpin envisioned a city asleep as morning approached,
except for a burning
campfire at the Indian Center.
"The elders and God will be
looking down upon that light and see all these young
people sitting there and
praying to him.
"That's pretty powerful."
Reach Jodi Rave Lee at 473-7240 or
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