- The Washington Times - Monday, February 3, 2003

Parishioners at the St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church were among the many Washington area residents who prayed in church yesterday for the seven astronauts killed in the Space Shuttle Columbia explosion.
Mr. Denver, who wrote the song the parishioners sang, "Flying High," in 1986 after the explosion of Space Shuttle Challenger, was also a pilot who loved flying.
At the Durga Temple in Fairfax Station, about 80 Hindus participated in a morning prayer service, and many returned for a half-hour of special prayers led by Priest Omkar Sharma.
Prayers for the seven astronauts began Saturday night, hours after the accident, at Beth El Hebrew Congregation in Alexandria, the Sri Siva Vishnu Temple in Lanham, and the Hindu Temple of Metropolitan Washington in Adelphi.
More than 1,000 Catholics attended each of two masses yesterday in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Michigan Avenue NE.
Washington Archbishop Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and Edwin F. O'Brien, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Military Services USA, conducted homilies and prayed for the families of the astronauts.
The prayers at Kensington Baptist Church had special meaning to organist Rosalind Walker. Her father, Felix Blackwood, who died in July, was a teacher at Yorktown High School in Arlington, where astronaut David M. Brown graduated in 1974.
Ministers at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Kensington did not include the accident as part of their services.
But when the Rev. David Argo asked for prayer requests, parishioner James Smith quoted the prophet Isaiah.
"As one whom his mother comforted you, so shall I comfort you, and so shall you be comforted in Jerusalem," Mr. Smith said.
A few blocks away, next to the Mormon Temple, in the chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, priests called for a long moment of silence for the astronauts.
At Christ Episcopal Church, the Rev. William Hague recited the astronauts' names, asked for a moment of silence, then prayed that surviving family and friends would find peace.

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