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.
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.
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.
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.
Association of Free Lutheran Congregations, Christ Memorial Lutheran, Hope Bridge Church, Messiah Methodist Lutheran, Plymouth Covenant, United Nations Church and Vision of Glory Lutheran
Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, Redeemer Lutheran, Wayzata Community Church, Wayzata Free Church and Calvary Memorial (Navarre)
Grace Lutheran Church
New Hope Church
Christ Presbyterian and National Coalition for Purity
Church of the Open Door and Grace Free Lutheran
Spiritual Life Church and Prince of Peace Lutheran
Contact Paul Wahl at [email protected]