Community members unite in prayer

Community members unite in prayer
Date June 15, 2004
Section(s) Local News

NDN Staff Writer

Newton community members came together for a prayer service Monday night at the Maytag Bowl in Maytag Park.

About 50 people attended the service which consisted of song, scripture reading and silent prayer. The Newton Ministerial Association sponsored the event.

The Rev. Tiare Mathison-Bowie helped moderate the event and said it was held as a way for everyone in the community to come together, regardless of where they fit into the Maytag situation. She sees a need for prayer in the wake of the Maytag job cuts and union strike.

“The fear and uncertainty is almost palpable,” she said. “It seems to be in the air we breathe together.”

Maytag union member Mary Cass knows that fear and uncertainty all too well. She’s been with the company and in the union for eight years. The strike has her worried.

“You think you’re going to get past it, but the first one is kind of scary,” she said. “We’re ready to go back to work.”

She called the prayer service a way to put the situation “into someone else’s hands.”

Rick Guldberg, of Newton, has been in the union for 21 years. He and his wife Lisa came to the service to be with other members of the community.

“It’s good for people to get together,” Rick said.

Lisa agreed.

“We need to show support for each other,” she said. “From what we hear, we could be in for the long haul.”

The Guldbergs worry about how their financial situation will look if the strike lasts for awhile. Though Lisa works, the loss of Rick’s full income while he’s on strike will affect them.

“We’ll just have to watch what we spend and what we do,” Rick said.

Pam Priaulx already has dealt with the financial difficulty of losing her job. She worked for Maytag in an office job for 27 years until last year when her position was eliminated. As the sole breadwinner for her family, she needed to find another job quickly, so she opted to take a position in Des Moines. Now, she commutes to work from Newton.

“I would say there really aren’t a lot of opportunities here in Newton,” she said.

She met a friend, Kathy Croy, at the service and the two sat near each other to pray and sing together.

Rowe Winecoff, of Lambs Grove, came to the service, too.

He doesn’t work for Maytag, but he knows plenty of people who do. He said he’s concerned for everyone in the area, not just the people who work at Maytag.

“I think we’re experiencing a lot of stress in our community and I believe we need to come together as a community of faith to be able to see how we’re going to confront this,” he said. “Hopefully, in going through these difficult times, we come out stronger.”


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