Durenberger keynotes National Day of Prayer breakfast

Politicians should be more civil, he tells audience at annual event

by Paul Wahl

ECM Sun Newspapers

The 16th Annual West Metro National Day of Prayer Breakfast May 2 opened appropriately with a prayer. Organizers expressed thanksgiving that the predicted 6-9 inches of snow did not fall and that the hundreds of guests traveled to the Medina Entertainment Center in Medina on dry roads.

The commemoration was organized by 34 area churches that supplied an army of volunteers. Activities include special music, a continental breakfast and prayer.

Area pastors offered prayers for what was termed the Seven Centers of Influence – government, church, military, family, education, media and business.

Paul Mercer of the Hamel VFW Post 5903 takes a quick phone call just before posting the colors for the 2013 West Metro Day of Prayer Breakfast May 2 at the Medina Entertainment Center in Medina. He was joined by Doug Johnson. (ECM Sun staff photo by Paul Wahl)

Paul Mercer of the Hamel VFW Post 5903 takes a quick phone call just before posting the colors for the 2013 West Metro Day of Prayer Breakfast May 2 at the Medina Entertainment Center in Medina. He was joined by Doug Johnson. (ECM Sun staff photo by Paul Wahl)

The Rev. Dan Johnson of Plymouth Covenant in Plymouth led a prayer for those in government. He prayed that the White House would become “God’s house” and that President Barack Obama would remember he is accountable not to a nation or world, but to God himself.

The Rev. Paul Causton, pastor at Redeemer Lutheran in Wayzata, prayed that the media would “report on what is excellent and praiseworthy more than what is outrageous and shocking.” He also reminded those gathered that the addiction particularly to online media was destructive and not a good use of time.

Alta Strassburg of Maple Grove added her voice to the congregational singing portion of the 2013 West Metro Day of Prayer Breakfast May 2 at the Medina Entertainment Center in Medina. The music included the singing of Martin Luther’s “A Might Fortress is Our God.” (ECM Sun staff photo by Paul Wahl)

Alta Strassburg of Maple Grove added her voice to the congregational singing portion of the 2013 West Metro Day of Prayer Breakfast May 2 at the Medina Entertainment Center in Medina. The music included the singing of Martin Luther’s “A Might Fortress is Our God.” (ECM Sun staff photo by Paul Wahl)

Unity was the theme of the prayer for the church, offered by the Rev. Bryan McInnis of Hope Bridge Church in Plymouth.

He prayed that churches would be open to those who are broken and that when people walk through the doors, they “see hope in us.” He also called on churches to let go of things “that stand in the way of (God’s) gospel being preached.”

Other ministers who participated included the Rev. Dr. Irv Woold, National Coalition for Purity in Osseo; the Rev. Kevin Campbell of Wayzata Free Church in Plymouth; the Rev. Jedidiah Scharmer of Resurrection Lutheran Church in Monticello; and the Rev. Terry Francis of Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge of Minneapolis.

Keynote speaker David F. Durenberger, former U.S. senator from Minnesota, spoke of a need for more bridge building and less bridge burning between political parties.

“Americans have always come together under national leadership in times of crisis – regardless of their politics – until now,” said Durenberger, who was elected to replace Hubert and Muriel Humphrey in 1978.

Former U.S. Sen. David Durenberger was the keynote speaker for the 2013 West Metro Day of Prayer Breakfast May 2 at the Medina Entertainment Center in Medina. He encouraged politicians to show love for each other, not hatred and bitterness. (ECM Sun staff photo by Paul Wahl)

Former U.S. Sen. David Durenberger was the keynote speaker for the 2013 West Metro Day of Prayer Breakfast May 2 at the Medina Entertainment Center in Medina. He encouraged politicians to show love for each other, not hatred and bitterness. (ECM Sun staff photo by Paul Wahl)

He encouraged politicians to open their hearts and love each other “as Jesus asked us all to do.”

Durenberger criticized Republicans who did not support health care reform. He said he had spent decades as a Republican working toward a better plan and when a plan was offered, his fellow party members looked away.

He also encouraged politicians to be prayerful, transparent, authentic and humble in their relationships.

“Don’t seek credit, give it away,” Durenberger said.

Durenberger is founder and chair of the National Institute of Health Policy at the Opus College of Business of the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis.

The Rev. Carol Skjegstad of Calvary Lutheran in Golden Valley and Dar Sjostrom were chairs of this year’s event. Ellyn Adelmann, a junior at St. Louis Park High School, read the official 2013 Prayer for the Nation.

Participating churches:

Plymouth

Association of Free Lutheran Congregations, Christ Memorial Lutheran, Hope Bridge Church, Messiah Methodist Lutheran, Plymouth Covenant, United Nations Church and Vision of Glory Lutheran

Wayzata

Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, Redeemer Lutheran, Wayzata Community Church, Wayzata Free Church and Calvary Memorial (Navarre)

Deephaven

Grace Lutheran Church

Shorewood

Minnewashta Church

Golden Valley

Calvary Lutheran

New Hope

New Hope Church

Osseo

Christ Presbyterian and National Coalition for Purity

Maple Grove

Church of the Open Door and Grace Free Lutheran

Brooklyn Center

Spiritual Life Church and Prince of Peace Lutheran

 

 

 

Contact Paul Wahl at paul.wahl@ecm-inc.com

 
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