At Tuesdays Come-See-Me breakfast event, there were no crafts or songs or dogs dressed in costumes. But there were around 200 community leaders, who bowed their heads to participate in a collective prayer for the leadership of Rock Hill.
It was the 32nd annual Mayors Prayer Breakfast, held at Westminster Presbyterian Church, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club.
Kiwanis is all about the youth of our community, said Randy Graham, chair of the spiritual aims committee.
By bringing together leaders in faith, he said, it helps bond everyone around common issues.
The prayer breakfast lets people from across the community come together to focus on shared values, said Rock Hill Mayor Doug Echols.
Its an important time to pause from the busy time of Come-See-Me and focus on faith, Echols said. Even though we worship in different ways, we all have a shared purpose.
After recognizing community leaders including council members, police officers and educators, local religious leaders and Kiwanis members, state Rep. Gary Simrill, R-Rock Hill, shared an opening prayer before the featured speaker, Eugene Robinson, took the stage.
Robinson, who works as a radio analyst for the Carolina Panthers and as a high school coach at Charlotte Christian School, spent 16 years playing in the National Football League, appearing in three Super Bowls.
He gave an animated speech about the life lessons football teaches a person, not just about the game, but about life and faith. Playing football, he said, pales to the work of community leaders to impact the lives of others.
Its not a sin to fall down, Robinson told the crowd. Its a sin to fall down and not do anything about it.
Robinson referenced the book of Exodus, and the story of Aaron, Moses and the golden calf idol. In this story, God wants to turn his back on the Israelites because theyve forsaken him and are worshiping an idol instead of him, Robinson said. But Moses tells God they cannot go on in their journey through life without him by their sides.
Symbolically, that is what youre all saying by being here now, Robinson said. By attending the prayer breakfast, community leaders were acknowledging that they cannot do their jobs without the guidance of God.
Community leaders are servants of God, Robinson said. He challenged those at the breakfast to do their work in such a way that people see the teachings of Jesus through their actions.
A prayer for community and national leaders was delivered by the Rev. William Buie from First Calvary Baptist Church, who asked for guidance, protection and support and the ability to do good and meaningful work for all people, regardless of who they are or where they live.
Rachel Southmayd • 803-329-4072