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Teens ring in new year with prayer

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  • Paul Pureau
    Teens ring in new year with prayer BY JODI RAVE LEE Lincoln Journal Star While most of Lincoln went to sleep at some point Sunday night or early this morning,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 1, 2001
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      Teens ring in new year with prayer
      BY JODI RAVE LEE Lincoln Journal
      Star


      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
      prayer meeting.

      "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
      Center.

      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
      gatherings.

      "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
      about God.

      "That's what it all boils down to
      is God."

      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
      jrave@....


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      =====
      Paul Pureau

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