Marco Island held its 25 Annual Community Prayer Breakfast last Friday with an attendance of approximately 440 people. Held at the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort Golf Club & Spa, the program began with the Marco Island Praise Band, Prelude Music by Marv Hollenbeck, Lely High School ROTC and the Presentation of Colors after which the audience said the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Praise Band led the singing of “God Bless the U.S.A.” and “God Bless America.”
It was a morning filled with prayer. People came from Naples as well as Marco Island to join in the unity of the community. Pastor Ron Biel from Marco Lutheran Church gave the invocation in which he praised and thanked God not only for the community coming together but for the nation and the world.
Carol Matthews Gore, founder of the Marco Island Community Prayer Breakfast spoke about her experience in Kokomo, Indiana which had been organized by John Thompson.
“It was such a thrilling event and the speaker was so inspirational. After I moved to Marco, I said, ‘I want that sense of community that we had that morning in Kokomo. I want this on Marco,’” she said in a personal interview.
“It just so happened,” she continued, “that John and his religious group booked the entire hotel. That’s how he came to present the idea and came to be the first speaker. It was because of that experience in Kokomo that we are now celebrating Marco Island’s 25 Annual Community Prayer Breakfast.”
Dr. John Thompson was then introduced as the first speaker. Stating he was honored to be here and honored to be the first speaker, Thompson gave an inspiring speech with a bit of humor. He congratulated all on coming together as a community in prayer.
When breakfast was finished, Marco’s Fire Chief, Mike Murphy, said a prayer for Marco Island leadership. He asked everyone to stand and hold hands and prayed about what powerful tools God has given us — our hands.
“They are to do God’s work; to put our hands together to pray; to reach out and help and comfort others in their time of need and sometimes our own. Today, we intertwine our hands with our neighbors to show you that we are dependent upon each other and to ask for your special blessing upon all your public servants that help us maintain our community and the life we are so fortunate to have.”
Included in his prayers were the servicemen and public servants we have lost since January 1.
A Litany of Hope from Psalm 46 was led by Rob Popoff as he read two lines of a verse and the audience responded following the printed program. After the Praise Band performed two beautiful songs, Don Kolowsky introduced Ambassador Tony Hall by saying Hall is a passionate defender and supporter of the poor, that he practices, not just talks, about the preaching of Jesus, and that literally thousands of people in the world today are living better because of the influence that Hall has had in Congress and the powers bestowed upon him.
Hall thanked the community for being in Marco Island. With his sense of humor, he said he really was very happy to be here since the last few days were spent where the weather was extremely cold.
A congressman for 24 years, he left Congress and became Ambassador in Rome for three and a half years. Hall was also an Ambassador to the U.N. organization.
“It was what we call a Humanitarian Ambassador,” he said. “I got to live in Italy with my wife and travel to some of the places in the world that really needed help. It was a great job.”
When asked how one becomes an ambassador, he stated, “You have to be appointed by the President of the United States and I was appointed by George Bush, Jr.”
He continued, “I’m no longer an ambassador although you keep the title for the rest of your life. I do work now for the Secretary of State in the Middle East doing consulting work in building relationships with some of the religious leaders in the Holy Land. So I spend a lot of time in Israel. I go to a lot of countries that need help and advise people on what needs to be done.”
His speech was also inspirational as he brought in passages from first Corinthians, Chapter 2 and other scripture in the bible. He said he hoped the words he was going to say were from God.
In essence, he spoke of principles of value which included praying for our leaders and those in authority; how God is with them when two or more people are praying together; how to praise God, read the bible and keep journals. He said that when he reads his bible in the morning and comes across a passage with a word that truly touches him, he presses that page to his heart.
Marco Presbyterian Church Pastor Bruce Fiol gave the Benediction.
At the conclusion of the program, everyone was asked to stand and sing “Let There Be Peace on Earth.”