TROY — Residents of all faiths are invited to participate in a gathering of food and fellowship during the 36th annual Mayor’s Prayer and Praise Breakfast on Saturday, Oct. 13.
The event will be hosted this year by First Presbyterian Church, located at 20 South Walnut Street in Troy, running 9-10:30 a.m.
Tickets are $5.
“We change the venue for the breakfast every two or three years,” said Mayor Mike Beamish. “I always say that our public square is lke the living room of our community, and we’re very excited to bring the event back downtown to First Presbyterian.”
Mayor Beamish has overseen the event during his 15-year tenure as mayor, in addition to ongoing involvement as a former member on the council of churches. Beamish stressed the objective of the annual breakfast is to promote unity in Troy and the surrounding area.
“The event was first incited in 1983, as a means to bring the people of the community together,” Beamish said. “I’ve always had a strong belief that prayer is powerful. The whole idea of the event is to bring members of the community together under a non-denominational theme of prayer.”
Beamish emphasized an element of the breakfast he’s most proud of is the involvement of members of the Mayor’s Youth Council.
“I’ve always felt we need to have things to do for people of all ages, young and old alike,” Beamish said. “For years, I’ve brought in fifth and sixth graders from the Youth Council to help as servers, so people can see that young people care about their community, too.”
The prayer will be led by Rev. Frank Rupnik III, who recently accepted the position of pastor at First Presbyterian, effective Sept. 12.
Rupnik, who graduated from Troy High School in 1997, was called to the ministry during his four years of active duty with the United States Navy.
“I had some very influential chaplains that helped shape my life,” Rupnik said. “One thing I’ve really liked about being a military reserve chaplain is that we work with people of all different denominations and different faiths. In civilian ministry, that hasn’t always been the case. If you have an event like this, it shows that churches of all different groups of faiths can come together. I think that’s nice and should happen more often, because we are united.”
Heather Salazar, CEO and President of Pink Ribbon Girls, will serve as keynote speaker at the event. Salazar, a Troy resident and survivor of breast cancer, founded the grassroots non-profit organization with the mission to provide direct services, education, and support to individuals and their families dealing with breast and reproductive cancers.
Salazar’s appearance at the breakfast comes ahead of the Paint the Town Pink 5K, which will be held in Troy Public Square on Friday, Oct. 19 at 6 p.m.
“We always try to get speakers that fit a theme,” Beamish said. “This is sort of a way to bring people together to listen to Heather’s story’s of strength and survival, and will also serve to promote the Pink Ribbon Girls event the following Friday.”
Beamish and Rupnik both stressed the inter-faith elements of the event, and encourage members of the community from every faith to participate.
“Anyone can attend,” Rupnik said. “We want the event to be as opening and welcoming as possible. The goal of the event is not to push ideologies, but to come together in unity as members of different faiths, and do so through prayer and good food.”
For tickets, contact First Presybyterian Church at 937-339-1317, or contact the Mayor’s Office at the Troy Municipal Building.