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Frank Ferry: Mayor's Prayer Breakfast promotes unity

Posted: March 22, 2009 1:06 a.m.
Updated: March 22, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Not just Christians and Jews, but also Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and the followers of many other religions believe in values like peace, respect, tolerance and dignity. These are values that bring people together and enable us to build responsible and solid communities.
- Alcee Hastings

Every year, our city's mayor is asked to participate in the annual Mayor's Prayer Breakfast, a nationwide event sponsored by a private organization aimed at bringing people together in support of their communities.

There are few more noble deeds for an elected official than this.

As Santa Clarita's mayor and as a council member for the last 12 years, I have attended hundreds of local events and programs in our community.

I have helped a local temple light its holiday menorah at the mall. I have participated in a Knights of Columbus event at a Catholic church and I have attended a wide variety of religious and nonreligious events.

I can't recall ever turning down a request to attend any kind of these activities unless my calendar precluded it. Through my work, my speaking engagements and in talking to our residents, I am regularly reminded of the many people of different backgrounds, faiths and religions who work together every day for the betterment of Santa Clarita.

Each of these events I attend reinforces that.

The annual Mayor's Prayer Breakfast is an extension of these events in that it brings people together for our community. I will go anywhere, anytime to help build this community, to make it stronger, better and self-sustaining.

Since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the call to prayer has continued throughout our history, including President Lincoln's proclamation of a day of "humiliation, fasting, and prayer" in 1863.

In 1952, a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Truman, declared an annual National Day of Prayer.

In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May.

Each year, the president signs a proclamation encouraging all Americans to pray on this day.

I am personally committed to providing the community with events at which people can develop relationships and promote unity in our community.

Whether it is a national day of prayer, a fish fry during Lent, a church garage sale or a musical event, I wholeheartedly support our community's desire to join together, to support one another and collaborate on great things that move Santa Clarita in the right direction.

I can think of no greater purpose for our city.

Frank Ferry is mayor of Santa Clarita. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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