By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — Elected officials, community and religious leaders gathered to celebrate National Day of Prayer May 5 with an interfaith service.
During the service Christians, Muslims, city officials, first responders, a judge, and others gathered to pray for those in need worldwide.
National Day of Prayer was celebrated throughout the country with prayers similar to the Dearborn service held at the Dearborn Administrative Center, 16901 Michigan Ave.
“Prayers are powerful,” Littlefield Presbyterian Church the Rev. Frances Hayes said. “It shows people the good will of traditions and gathering.”
In Dearborn, religious, political and educational leaders each took turns reading universal prayers followed by a response of “Let us pray” by everyone in attendance.
Fire Chief Joseph Murray, Dearborn Public Schools Supt. Glenn Maleyko, Islamic House of Wisdom Imam Mohammad Elahi, Dearborn Congregational Church the Rev. William Kren and 19th District Court Judge Mark Somers were just some in attendance.
The topics addressed included water crisis in Flint, armed forces, racism, natural disasters, conflicts, families, schools, government and safety.
A prayer for schools was read by Polish National Catholic Church Subdeacon Ryszard Kasprzak.
“We give thanks for gifts of reason and imagination, and the opportunity for education,” Kasprzak said. “Bless all schools in our communities. May they be places of learning and safety where those who teach and learn are challenged and nurtured. May all who participate in education work together in mutual respect.”
Maleyko read a prayer for civil government and authorities. She prayed for Mayor John O’Reilly Jr., Dearborn Heights Mayor Dan Paletko and city council members, “and all who serve the people of Dearborn and Dearborn Heights and out neighboring communities. We pray for Governor (Rick) Snyder and state legislators. We pray for President (Barack) Obama, our members of Congress and all who serve the federal government.”
O’Reilly emphasized the importance of the annual event.
“We embrace everyone and people are welcome to express and be themselves,” he said.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) reiterated the O’Reilly’s comments.
“We love you all,” she said. “It is important we all come together now more than ever.”
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)