The Words of the Garratt Family

Los Angeles ACLC Prayer Breakfast, February 24, 2007

Joy I. Garratt
February 24, 2007

The first prayer breakfast of 2007 was held by the Los Angeles American Clergy Leadership Conference on February 24 in the Fellowship Hall of Hayes Tabernacle CME Church located in South Central Los Angeles near the famous Watts Towers.

Even before the official program began, ACLC members and guests began networking. This was due to the fact that one of the first two guests to arrive proved to be "Sweet Alice" Harris, executive director of Parents of Watts (POW) in Los Angeles, and probably one of the most gifted, effective networkers to ever walk the halls of Californiaís state capital. As a veteran community activist of 35 years and the winner of the Lieutenant Governorís 2002 California Woman of the Year award, Sweet Alice -- yes, everyone calls her Sweet Alice--presides over more than 15 community based programs striving to empower people in every aspect of their lives. Because of her years of caring involvement, she knew nearly every minister and guest who attended and they all knew her. Teacher Jack Ashworth, who has worked and fished with her for many years, invited her.

Dr. Nicholas Benson, First Summit Evangelical Church pastor, served as MC and brought the breakfast to an enthusiastic beginning as well as asking for a moment of silence to remember ACLC former co-convener Rev. Godwin DíSilva. Rev. Ronald Stovall then opened with the invocation. Rev. J.L. Briggs of Christian Light MBC Church gave the New Testament reading from John 15:8-19, and Lutheran pastor Rev. Carlos Torres read excerpts from "The True Owners in Establishing the Kingdom of Peace and Unity in Heaven and Earth" by Rev. Sun Myung Moon.

Gracious Hayes pastor, Dr. Joseph Gardener, then offered the table grace prayer before the delicious breakfast buffet began. The more than 80 attendees did not mind waiting for their turn in the buffet line, either, because Keith Williams and Magdalene Millsap, Sadoc Christian Peace Family Church choir leaders, had them clapping and stomping to their inspirational music while they waited. As breakfast ended, Dr. Benson introduced Darlene DíSilva who thanked the many ACLC members who had visited Godwin and her family to comfort and pray for them. Darlene warmed up the audience by reminding them how powerful Godís love is and how real the spiritual realm is.

Rev. Margaret Tate, co-pastor of Christ Community Truth Church, then ignited the core breakfast program with her review of the ACLC National Goals and Objectives. Rev. Dr. William R. Johnsonís keynote address, "The Renewal of Community and Dissolving Racial Barriers," set the program on fire. Rev. Dr. Johnson, Los Angeles ACLC co-chairman and pastor of Hashaway Community CME Church, traced the history of racism in the United States and then drove the point home that there is no place for racial dissension if we are to renew the community and fulfill the mission of ACLC as modeled by Rev. Moon and embodied in the Word of God through Christ.

His prophetic words echoed as the Sadoc Christian singers reprised the Middle East peace anthem, "Peace, Shalom, Salaam Aleikum" during the offering. Supt. Charles Moore, of the Greater All Nations Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ gave the offering prayer.

The inspiration continued to flow as Norma Foster, president of the Hollywood Bowl Easter Sunrise Service, invited all the attendees to participate in the April 8th Easter event. ACLC actively supports this ecumenical, community-wide event. Father Pedro Contreras of the Old Catholic Church wrapped up the program with a report on the impact of his recent trip to Mexico on behalf of "Married Priests Now." Participants then circled the hall and joined together for the closing song "Let There Be Peace on Earth" and the final prayer.

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