The 16th annual
Duneland Community Prayer Breakfast, held on Wednesday in the Trinity Hall
of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, was once again well supported and attended
by the Duneland faith community.
Mike Harris, as is
customary, served as host and master of ceremonies of the event, modeled on
a breakfast attended more than 63 years ago by President Dwight Eisenhower
for the express purpose of bringing all sides together in prayer.
colors were Chesterton Police Chief Dave Cincoski and the CPD Color Guard,
with Chesterton Town Manager Bernie Doyle leading attendees in the Pledge of
Then Father Jon
Plavcan welcomed all with a brief prayer for the community and nation,
followed by special music performed by the Chesterton High School Camarata
Harris recognized the many community leaders in attendance and introduced
Paul Boyter of the Duneland Chamber of Commerce, who shared his strong
belief in community and faith in all the areas we serve.
Pastor Dave Gargano
of Road to Life then read scripture from II Chronicles on the divine
protection of the people of faith from adversity, and Tim Harris prayed for
this community, the state, and the nation.
Mark Heckler, president of Valparaiso University, chose as his theme “Sweet
Hour of Prayer,” a poem written by William Walford in 1845 and set to music
by then famous melody writer William Bradbury, who also set to music “Jesus
Loves Me” and “Just as I Am”:
Sweet hour of
prayer! Sweet hour of prayer!
That calls us from
a world of care,
And bids me at my
Make all my wants
and wishes known.
In seasons of
distress and grief;
My soul has often
And oft escaped the
By thy return,
sweet hour of prayer!
Heckler shared his
personal dedication to his own sweet hour of prayer and its rewards and
spoke of his relationship with his wife and their five children and nine
grandchildren in the context of “Sweet Hour of Prayer”: “Pray to rejoice.
Pray for thanks. Pray to heal. Pray to succeed. Pray when we fail. Pray to
see clearly. Pray to hear without prejudice. Pray.”
The Camarata group
then led the entire crowd of over 300 in attendance in the singing of “God
Bless America,” with a closing prayer offered by Westville United Methodist
Church pastor Cathy Allison.