Mayor reflects on societal changes during prayer breakfast

  • Apr. 6, 2016 2:56 p.m.

Featuring guest speaker David Mainse of the long-running Christian TV program 100 Huntley Street, the annual Mayors’ Prayer Breakfast was held Tuesday at Westerner Park’s Prairie Pavilion.

Mainse is also the founder of Crossroads Christian Communications, which has not only featured the programming for decades but also has an array of ministries based out of their Burlington, Ontario location.

Mainse shared about his recent health issues, which include a cancer diagnosis several years ago.

“I’ve had people say how are you, because three years ago I cancelled being here and was going to send my son in my place,” he said.

According to the, upon receiving a cancer diagnosis back in 2012, Mainse was given a two-year ‘life sentence’.

“They told him that he would probably not live past March 2014.”

But today he is still going strong, and attributes his healing to both prayer as well as medical treatment. “David is determined make full use of his extension here on earth to preach the gospel of salvation to everyone.”

Mainse shared some of his experiences of ministry over the years, emphasizing the power of prayer to change circumstances.

“Often we don’t recognize these major turning points but I assure you that prayer has a great deal to do with those major turning points,” he said. “I have never yet had a political leader refuse prayer.”

Mayor Tara Veer also spoke about the importance of prayer and faith in relation to the day-to-day operations of municipal government.

“As I look out on all who are present today, I am so reminded and grateful for the support, prayers, and thoughtful gestures and perseverance of countless people in this room. Many of you have proven yourselves many times over to be faithful friends, supporters and fellow citizens,” said Veer, adding that she was grateful for the support that is behind the planning for the prayer breakfast.

“Your strong presence today is a public demonstration of the power of the community of faith to affect transformation with and for the people of Red Deer. Our City council is intent on establishing a local government and building a community that is citizen-focused, is welcoming for all and that is strategically oriented in our leadership,” she said.

“Based on these three foundational principles, our emphasis continues to be about modernizing and building accessible local government, transforming our services to respond to the changing needs of our growing community and to meet the growing needs of what is proving to be a changing society.”

Veer spoke about one of 2015’s highlights as well – the year that Red Deer passed the 100,000 mark in its population.

“It officially transitioned us from being a smaller city to being an emerging urban centre and regional hub,” she said. “We are at a transformative moment as a city like none ever before.

“Our council and administration should not and cannot chart this course without you. Our objectives would be far less purposeful and and far less pragmatic without the participation of the community of faith as an integral part of our foundation for building community.”

Veer said one year ago she sought the audience’s spiritual support to make what seemed to be the impossible, “Possible.

“And the progress of the past year, in spite of challenging times, tells me that you said yes to that request. This last year in the life of our community demonstrates not only that hope is possible but that transformation is possible.

“We also all need to be more engaged, more than ever, at a time when the challenges, pressures and adversities of life might otherwise compel us to shrink back, to give up, to forfeit, to resign ourselves and give way to complacency because there are too many challenges, pressures and adversities for us to make much of a meaningful difference. Our call to action, community of faith, is to stand firm,” she said, adding that residents should choose to respond to circumstances out of faith rather than fear.

After guest speaker Mainse shared some of his memories of past ministry in Alberta and across Canada, several individuals also prayed for various aspects of society, from politics and education to health.