Former Los Angeles Lakers star A.C. Green spent Thursday morning in Glendale reflecting on the role of mankind and the importance of being selfless.
"There's something bigger than us," he told a room of about 300 people. "Yeah, bigger than me, at 6-foot-9."
Community members gathered at the Civic Auditorium to listen to Green and local leaders talk about religion and the role of a spiritual life at the 49th Annual Mayor's Prayer Breakfast.
"We are here to remember … the life that we have, the life that we lead, we lead not for ourselves, but a greater purpose and cause," said Green, who spent 16 seasons in the NBA, gaining the nickname Iron Man after playing 1,192 consecutive games.
That mind set is shared by many religious groups in Glendale, who often carry out good works without enough recognition, said Mayor Laura Friedman.
It's because of groups like the Salvation Army, Western Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church and Catholic Charities of Los Angeles, "who work so hard to honor their lord and to honor the community and make a difference in the world," that there are fewer suffering people than there might otherwise be, she said.
"We in the government of Glendale appreciate these actions so much," Friedman said.
Religious groups took hold of their messages, noting that in divisive times, there's a need to come together.
"We need this more than ever," said Pastor Demetrio Robles of the Glendale Filipino Seventh-day Adventist Church. "This is a time when we have to come together as a people to unite our minds and hearts for compassion."
Rabbi Simcha Backman of the Chabad of Glendale and Foothill Communities agreed.
"It's so important for people to come together from different walks of life and just sit together and talk," he said.
As part of the program, local students read from Christian, Jewish and Muslim scriptures, an annual feature that Backman said was on point.
"The message of unity has to come from the children," he said.
Green, who founded the A.C. Green Youth Foundation, also spoke about the importance of children.
"My teammates these days [are] our youth," Green said. "We don't have all the answers, but at the same time, we care."