In a time of cynicism and criticism directed at our governments, it’s important to pause and consider the contributions our leaders and public servants make to our community and to pray for their well-being.
A variety of local Christian churches gathered parishioners to pray, sing and listen to speakers, including Mayor Allan Thompson, on May 16 at Caledon’s Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast.
Reverend Dean Kennedy recounted how, at one time, he could not envision anything more boring than a Mayor’s prayer breakfast, especially one at seven in the morning.
“Actually, at that point in my life,” he said, “I could have thought of one thing more boring than that, and that was going to church. I grew up going to church, every single Sunday. Don’t get me wrong, I had friends there, it was very loving, nothing against the quality of music, the teaching or the programs; I just found it really repetitive, and boring.
Kennedy reconciled himself to attending church, likening it to Brussels sprouts; he reasoned that one day he might learn to appreciate them. He never did, but he did come to understand and appreciate the place of the church in the community.
He drew some laughs and then got to the spirit of the Mayor’s prayer breakfast, citing the Greek origin of the word church, which is “ecclesia.” In ancient times, he explained, the elder men of the cities and towns would bequeath their businesses to their sons and gather daily with their peers at the city gates. There they would tell stories and dole out wisdom to their younger townsfolk, helping them resolve their daily conflicts and dilemmas. They were, in essence, the original pastors ministering the communities.
Then, Caledon Mayor Allan Thompson gave an emotional speech, recalling an episode in his life several years past. If not for his wife, family and friends, and importantly, his church, it would have been devastating. He stood accused of a conflict of interest, of using the mayoral office for profit. Although, Regional Senior Justice Peter A. Daley fully cleared him of any wrongdoing.
In this cynical time, it is refreshing to witness an event such as the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, where the community can remind our public servants their dedication is recognized and appreciated, no matter their political stripe.
Photo: Mayor Allan Thompson (right) was one of the main speakers at the 2018 Caledon Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast held at the Caledon Community Complex.