NEW BEDFORD - As the Southcoast gets ready to ring in the new year with celebrations, community leaders in New Bedford are asking residents to come together and pray as 2017 arrives.

Reverend David Lima, Executive Minister of the Inter-Church Council of Greater New Bedford, says an interfaith worship service is being held Saturday evening in downtown New Bedford before the city's festivities get underway. "We want people to really celebrate in New Bedford, but a good foundation is to thank God for all that has happened over the past year and to be able to look forward to the new year," says Lima.

Several speakers will address the public, with brief sessions of worship and prayer. The service begins at 5 P.M. Saturday at the Seamen's Bethel on Johnny Cake Hill in downtown New Bedford.