All eyes turned heavenward on Thursday, March 12 as religious and civic leaders attended the 46th Annual Glendale Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast at the Glendale Civic Auditorium.
Celebrating the diversity in faiths practiced in the Glendale and foothills areas, the breakfast featured prayers in several languages by representatives of different religions.
Dr. Michael Escalante of the Glendale Unified School District emceed the early morning event that featured music by Rosemont Middle School’s string ensemble and the presentation of colors by Crescenta Valley High School’s JROTC. The JROTC was preceded by bagpiper Aaron Shaw.
Mayor John Drayman offered a historical look at prayer breakfasts in general and the traditions that unify people of faith. “We come together to break bread, give thanks and seek guidance,” he said.
Prayers, touching on the state of the nation and asking for peace, the end of poverty and human suffering, were taken from the Quran, New Testament and Hebrew Scriptures and offered by local students.
The threads of hope, strength and endurance continued in the address delivered by speaker Tom Dreesen. Dreesen, a Chicago-born entertainer and philanthropist, wove stories from his days of performing with Frank Sinatra and other big name celebrities into his message on the importance of personal perception.
“We have the power to empower ourselves,” Dreesen said. “The inner journey is much more exciting than the outer.”
Prayer Breakfast guests, most of whom arrived before dawn, left the Civic stepping into a sunny morning reminded of the precepts that are shared by all major faiths.
“No matter what we choose to believe,” said Mayor Drayman, “no religion condones hate.”