Worship celebration planned

ALBANY -- Michelle Scharnikow said the inspiration for an upcoming community praise and worship event came from a song performed by popular Christian music artist Toby Mac.

Scharnikow said after listening to Mac's new single "City On Our Knees" from his album "Tonight," she was compelled to take the song's message and make it into a reality.

"It touched my heart," she said of the song. "I kept listening to it over and over."

Scharnikow said the song is about creating a moment and place where everyone can come together without judgment and let their differences fall by the wayside.

"I was inspired and tried to come up with a way to bring the community together for one night, where people of all faiths and beliefs can celebrate and worship," she said.

The "City On Our Knees" event will be held Saturday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Fish Camp on Gillionville Road.

Scharnikow said the praise and worship celebration will be free to anyone who attends, and food and drinks will also be provided without charge.

Michael Green, a theologian, will be the guest speaker for the event, and live music will be played throughout the evening.

"It was really important to me that I work to make the event free," said Scharnikow. "I'm covering the costs myself."

Scharnikow said after a few initial calls the event started coming together in extraordinary ways.

"It all just fell into place, and I get calls every day from people offering to help out in different ways," she said.

The Fish Camp on Gillionville Road was donated for the venue, and Little Ceasers has offered Scharnikow a discount on pizzas to provide food for the event.

"I'm still taking ideas, and if anyone wants to help or donate something for the event that's great. If not, then it will still be great," she said. "I think we are going to have a good time."

Scharnikow said she believes the City On Our Knees event will be a good boost for the community.

"It is not affiliated with any particular church," she said. "Sometimes we forget that we are all worshipping the same God and we need each other right now, especially with the economy and the Haiti disaster. This event is about coming together as one and celebrating God with praise and worship."

Scharnikow said those who would like to be involved with the City On Our Knees event can contact her at (229) 854-2322, or they can e-mail her at jsxfour@mchsi.com. The event is also listed on Facebook.