It will be a time of patriotism, prayer and heart, as participants celebrate their first amendment right at the 29th annual Marco Island Prayer Breakfast.
Local clergy will offer prayers during the event which will take place, drum roll please — on Valentine’s Day.
And yes there will be drums; the Lely High School Drum Corps will give a special presentation.
The keynote speaker is retired Chaplain, Brigadier General Doug Lee. Lee is the son of a service man and the father of two servicemen. He retired from the Army in 2008 after more than 30 years of service, 16 of them on active duty as an Army chaplain. He now works full time with civilian and military chaplains from Okinawa to Germany as an endorser. His job is to “catch, credential and care” for chaplains. He is a chaplain for chaplains.
Lee’s address, “Service with a Smile,” will discuss the role of the chaplains as they serve, maintain and repair our military men and women.
“I grew up equating service with the military,” said Lee, father of four and grandfather of 12. He grew up in Minnesota and graduated from the University of Minnesota. His father a World War II Navy Seabee never said he was in the navy or called himself as sailor. Instead he referred to his time in the armed forces as service. His mother echoed those sentiments as she would always say “when we were in the service.”
“In the military we have a tremendous respect for other faith groups. We ensure that every troop has the opportunity to freely express his or her faith … The chaplains provide and assist anyway they can the celebration of religious diversity.”
“Doug Lee will give us an insight into the joy and stress of the chaplancy as chaplains meet the needs of all faith groups,” said Blaine Fluth, Prayer Breakfast treasurer. “He has a heart to serve people.”
The Rev. Tim Navin, San Marco Catholic Church’s pastor, will give the invocation.
“The Prayer Breakfast is a nice opportunity to meet people,” he said. “They always have a good speaker, its always very edifying and I look forward to hearing the chaplain speak.”
The Jewish Congregation of Marco Island’s, Rabbi Edward Maline will give a prayer to celebrate and honor the people in the community who sustain and protect us.
“I am looking forward to this interfaith effort to bring the community together to pray and share a sense of fellowship,” said Maline who is president of the Marco Island Clergy Association.
Pastor Curt Ayers of Capri Christian Church will give the benediction.
“It is important for us to pray together and to agree on what we can agree on and enjoy the things we have in common,” said Ayers. “Our country has a lot going on. People are hurting. In times like these we need to pull together … and pray together.”
New this year will be a musical tribute of service anthems by Marco Presbyterian Church’s Music Director Marv Hollenbeck.
Mega Praise Team will once again provide special music.
The last day to purchase tickets is Feb. 10.
The Rev. Rod Whited, seasonal pastor for Marco Presbyterian Church, noted that if the 700 people at the Prayer Breakfast pray everyday until the election that would result in 186,200 prayers.
Among those planning to go is Collier County Supervisor of Elections Jennifer Edwards.
“I’m thankful that in our country we can pray together in an open forum and have free and fair elections,” said Edwards.
The Church Lady sat in on two Marco Island Prayer Breakfast planning meetings. Fittingly the meetings began and ended with prayer. The following are snippets from individual members: “Lord may we think your thoughts and be sensitive to your spirit… We pray that you lead, guide and direct us… May this be a time that your love is demonstrated… May the speaker’s message be spirit filled and folks would increase their prayers for our country… May the breakfast be a time that God is lifted high in the community… Thank you for the spirit of cooperation that’s being nurtured on this island.” Amen.
If you plan to go:
29th Annual Marco Island Prayer Breakfast
When: Doors open 7 a.m., event begins at 7:30 a.m., and concludes at 9 a.m., Feb. 14
Where: Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, 400 South Collier Blvd., Marco Island
Admission: Tickets are $20 per person, available at the Marco Chamber of Commerce and most area churches. Tickets must be purchased by Feb. 10.
Information: marcoislandprayerbreakfast.com, (239) 642-3622 and LDKolowsky@aol.com