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DOWNEY - A crowd of some 150 residents gathered by the flag pole in front of City Hall last Thursday to observe the National Day of Prayer, the annual event set permanently on the first Thursday of May by President Reagan in 1988 to encourage communities to pray for their families and leaders.
The local event was under the sponsorship of the Christian Businessmen Committee of Downey, just as it has done all these years, in collaboration with Calvary Chapel Church. The committee also sponsors the annual Downey Mayor's Prayer Breakfast.
Offering prayers were pastors from Praise Chapel Downey, First Baptist Church, Leaders after God's Heart, and Desert Reign Church, preceded by the bagpipe playing of "Amazing Grace" by Davey Armstrong.
The program, which began with brief remarks and a prayer by Calvary Church pastor Glenn Kravig, also featured the singing of the National Anthem and "America the Beautiful" by 15-year old Jenna Welch of SeaCoast Grace Church of Cypress.
Kirkwood Christian's pre-K kids joined the act by rendering "Awesome God" and "God Bless America."
In somewhat of a novelty, pledges of allegiance were made to a Biblical, as well as a Christian, flag in addition to the traditional American Flag.
Mayor Roger Brossmer's proclamation, which was read on his behalf by former Downey police officer Richard Tuttle, said in part: "Whereas this 61st consecutive National Day of Prayer observance dates back to the first Continental Congress, and whatever our individual religious convictions may be, I ask all citizens to worship in his or her own manner and to pray for the unity of the hearts of all mankind."
The program concluded with the participants breaking up into small groups to pray, as the program suggested, for their particular intentions and concerns.
The Christian Businessmen Committee of Downey has been headed for four years now by Faith Life Church of Norwalk associate pastor James Van Lengen, who took over the group's stewardship after the death of civic leader George Cade.
Published: May 10, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 04