February 08, 2003
Praying for peace amid adversity Nearly 180 people attend Mt. Prospect prayer
Posted on February 08, 2003
As national leaders asked Americans on Friday to be on the alert for a possible terrorist attack, local religious leaders gathered in Mount Prospect and prayed for peace and harmony.
Nearly 180 people attended the fourth annual Mayor's Prayer Breakfast on Friday. The event, held one day after a national prayer breakfast, was designed to promote unity and fellowship.
Representatives from several religious faiths and denominations offered prayers at the breakfast. Village President Gerald L. "Skip" Farley, who sponsored the event with the help of the Mount Prospect Clergy Council, said the coming together of faiths showed how inclusive a community can be.
"There's a place in Mount Prospect for anyone who chooses to live here," he said.
Village Trustee Richard Lohrstorfer, keynote speaker, talked about his experiences at ground zero in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City.
Lohrstorfer, a funeral director, was part of a group deployed to New York two weeks after the attacks to help the medical examiner's office there with recovery and identification efforts.
"Every time a victim was found and identified, you said a prayer," he said. "Now, we need to keep the prayers going all the time, not just when a tragedy happens."
The religious leaders who offered prayers Friday also referred to the attacks, and to the more recent tragedy involving the space shuttle Columbia.
The Rev. Sonny de Rivera, head of the Hispanic Ministry at St. Raymond de Penafort Church, encouraged the crowd to think not just of the tragedies themselves, but of the power God provides to get through them.
"He gave us enough courage and perseverance to mend that shattered hope (after the terrorist attacks)," Rivera said.
Pastor Fred Joob of the Christian Life Church sang the opening and closing songs on Friday. Other leaders who participated were Barbara Muench of the Bahai Community of Mount Prospect, the Rev. Greg Rykse of Community Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Scott Barron of St. John Episcopal Church, the Rev. Betsy Youdris of Trinity United Methodist Church and the Rev. Russ Bechtold of Northwest Assembly of God.
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