ENCINITAS — Ever since 1952, by joint resolution of Congress and affirmed by President Harry S. Truman, the United States has observed a National Day of Prayer. From 1988 on, the designated day has been the first Thursday of May.
In honor of the 2018 National Day of Prayer, Encinitas hosted the 25th Annual Mayor’s Interfaith Community Prayer Breakfast on May 3 at the Encinitas Community and Senior Center.
Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear explained to the crowd of 140 attendees that the purpose of the event was “to take a morning to reflect and to express respect and admiration for the diversity of our religious traditions. It is also an opportunity to see and hear from representatives of many faiths in our community.”
The keynote speaker, Reverend Meghan Conrad Cefalu of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Dieguito, described how people can create barriers between themselves and others by focusing on what separates — rather than unites — them. She encouraged the audience members to be humble, grateful and to seek the “great joy” that comes from “deep authentic connection.”
Rev. Cefalu, who noted that she spoke not as an expert in creating policy but as a person familiar with “human hearts,” indirectly addressed homelessness and the housing controversy in Encinitas with statements such as: “When we unconsciously prop up the false narrative that the wealthy deserve their wealth and those in poverty somehow deserve their poverty, we are not in reality. … In order to restore our hearts to peace, we will have to have the courage to look open-eyed, and open-hearted, at that fact.”
As a 30-year-old city, the Annual Mayor’s Interfaith Community Prayer Breakfast is one of Encinitas’ longest-running traditions with 25 consecutive years of observance.