Zion hosts 44th annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast
By Judy Masterson firstname.lastname@example.org September 2, 2013 6:50PM
Joan Battley, director of the North Chicago Public Library (center) and her husband, Morgan, pray during the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast, held during Zion Jubilee Days on Sept. 2. | Judy Masterson/Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 2, 2013 2:40AM
The Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast is a quiet but popular staple of Zion Jubilee Days, the annual end-of-summer festival held each year over the long Labor Day weekend.
The 44th annual breakfast, held on Monday, Sept. 2, nearly filled the cafeteria at Zion-Benton Township High School’s Horizon Campus. Zion Mayor Lane Harrison noted that the devil has been busy and ticked off the names of those who had “kicked the devil out” by surviving attacks on their health, including a Pastor Adams “who had all but been pronounced dead.”
“Who said that the days of miracles are behind us?” Harrison asked. “The days of miracles are right here with us today.”
The mayor concluded his remarks with a tenor/baritone rendition of “Amazing Grace” as a few in the crowd sang along.
Founded by former Zion Mayor Bruce Dunbar, the breakfast draws several hundred residents, political leaders and neighbors of the town that was founded as a religious community by Alexander Dowie in 1903.
“It’s been an integral part of the Jubilee Days Festival,” Harrison said. “There are a lot of faith-oriented people here. We have very strong churches and a lot of them, and they’re a very, very wonderful, positive influence on our community. I believe communities oriented to faith have a great advantage. I think it shows up in our kids. It shows up in our schools.”
“There’s a lot of history in Zion,” said Rick Capp, 62, of Russell, a friend of Harrison’s, who grew up in Zion but raised his children in New England before returning in 1997 to work at the family business, Laserage Technology Corp. in Gurnee. “It’s a good place to be from.”
Capp’s pastor, Rev. Ken Langley of Christ Community Church, who preached on the subject of integrity at the breakfast, cited a lack of the virtue as evidenced by “doping athletes, insider trading, researchers fudging data, pedophile priests, sexting school teachers,” and a lack of trust in leadership.
“Sometimes people get the type of leaders they deserve,” Langley said. “Why should we be surprised at irresponsible fiscal policy when we’re all clamoring for a free lunch?”
Zion Temple Church of God in Christ pastor Rev. John Brewer prayed for area businesses: “Give them good success, for when they are successful, we also will be successful. Bless them Lord, help them have honest hearts and honest minds, so that together we all can grow in this community.”
Pat Anderson, 66, a native of Louisiana, who has lived in Zion for 36 years, called it “a blessing” to attend the breakfast. Each year, she and her husband are also among the large crowds that line the streets for the Zion Jubilee Days parade, shop at the event’s giant craft sale and enjoy the fireworks display.
“We take it all in,” Anderson said. “It’s our end of summer routine.”