Faithful gather to pray for city and country


The Holiday Bay Room sees many types of gatherings over the course of a year. Last week it was a gathering of people who believe in the power of prayer. A Presidential Proclamation for the 2016 National Day of Prayer begins as follows:

“In times of steady calm and extraordinary change alike, Americans of all walks of life have long turned to prayer to seek refuge, demonstrate gratitude, and discover peace. Sustaining us through great uncertainty and moments of sorrow, prayer allows us an outlet for introspection, and for expressing our hopes, desires, and fears. It offers strength in the face of hardship, and redemption when we falter.

Kylene Evans played the harp

Kylene Evans played the harp

“Our country was founded on the idea of religious freedom, and we have long upheld the belief that how we pray and whether we pray are matters reserved for an individual’s own conscience. On National Day of Prayer, we rededicate ourselves to extending this freedom to all people . . .”

Canyon Lake’s National Day of Prayer typically is led by members of local churches and synagogues. It is not an official event of the POA or City, though representatives from the Board and City Council sometimes attend informally.

Sponsoring this year’s event were Canyon Lake Community Church, New Hope Church, Elevation Church, Canyon Lake Bible Fellowship, Torah Club, Mike Shroyer of Good Time Entertainment, Doug and Michelle Gordon and Ted and Nancy Horton.

Special music was provided by harpist Kylene Evans and singers Bryan Pitotti and Therese Chunha. The Elsinore High Jr. ROTC presented the colors. Local CPA Lane Kellar was the emcee. Former Mayor and POA Board President Randy Bonner led the Pledge of Allegiance, and his wife, Sue, led in prayer for seniors, families and youth.

Others leading prayers for the nation, state, local government and public safety personnel were Pastor Chris Suitt of New Hope Church, Pastor Pete Van Dyke of Canyon Lake Community Church, Pastor Kasey Crawford of Elevation Church, Sherry Reiter of Torah Club (accompanied by Chaplain Allen Vaughan) and Police Officer Mykal Thomas of the Department of Defense.

The keynote speakers were Pat Van Dyke, wife of retired Pastor Pete Van Dyke, and Lori Stone, sister of Senator Jeff Stone.

Members of the National Day of Prayer Committee are Chair Nancy Horton, Lane McKellar, Steve and Ruth Martin, LaRue McNamara, Joanna Spiller, Joan Gadzik, Barbara Weatherman, Sue Bonner, Joan Ellett, Lynda Ofstad, Jack and Alice Gray, Ron and Joan Proeschold, Mary and Paul LeGrice and Jerry and Judy Swift.


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Donna Ritchie