Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Richmond Hill Mayor's Prayer Breakfast

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It was seven a.m. when Paul and I pulled into the parking lot at the Premiere Ballroom and Convention Centre on Leslie Street, North of Hwy. 7 this morning.
Paul had been shocked into consciousness just an hour earlier when I found him still asleep and realized that the shower I'd heard running earlier hadn't been his!
This was my first Mayor's Prayer Breakfast, and the third for Richmond Hill. I only knew that it was reputed to be a "big" event--and that the police, fire department, politicians and other community leaders would be there, along with pastors, business people and church members. I had no idea what to expect--but what I experienced was a deeply moving two hours that gave me hope for our leaders and for the future.
"Belinda you really have to go to the prayer breakfast, " Sarah Dawson--in the lovely fuchsia suit in the photo above--had told me a month or two ago. Sarah works for Christian Horizons, as do I, and her pastor is one of the organizers of this huge event.
A group of us from Christian Horizons were there--two of the young people who are supported by our agency, as well as at least nine staff. We were there because we value our community leaders and the work they do to provide a safe, healthy and welcoming community for us to live and work in.
The Reverend David Mainse gave the address. I was impressed by his grace, dignity, wisdom and statesmanship. He represented God well to the approximately 500 people.
The St. Theresa of Lisieux Catholic High School Jazz Band and Rachel Cleland-Ainsworth, an opera singer from Markham, provided us with wonderful music. They played and sang our national anthem, O Canada. I sang the words from memory, standing along with the rest of the crowd. I was surprised when Rachel continued singing a second verse that I had never heard before. The words were a prayer:
Ruler supreme
Who hearest humble prayer
Hold our dominion
Within Thy loving care
Help us to find O God in Thee
A lasting, rich reward
As waiting for the Better Day
We ever stand on guard
God keep our land glorious and free
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee
As we left to begin our work day, after praying for all levels and branches of government, each person there was given a book by John Maxwell, The Difference Maker. My prayer is that we will make a difference. I can't wait to read the book.
Prayer: Dear Lord, you tell us in your Word to pray for those who lead us and I confess that I rarely remember to do so. I lift them up to you. Please watch over our soldiers far afield and all those who serve us here.


Anonymous said...

That looks awesome, I loved the second verse of O Canada and remember reading it in a hymn book years ago. I think I saw Irene in the picture so a hey to her too. It's events like these that I miss and wish I wasn't away so much. Dave

Belinda said...

Dear Dave,
It was indeed Irene and your message has been duly passed on to her. Maybe you'll be here for next year's!

God willing--I'm planning to be there.