3rd Annual National Day of Prayer Celebrates Truth, Inclusion, and Love


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For the third time in San Mateo County, the National Day of Prayer for Behavioral Health Recovery and Understanding was recognized on Oct. 2nd 2018 at the Redwood City County Center. San Mateo County BHRS and NAMI co-sponsored the observance of this Day of Prayer by inviting faith and secular leaders as well as consumers to participate in this hour long event.  Faith and secular leaders around the country publicly recommit themselves to replace misinformation, blame, fear and prejudice with truth, inclusion and love in order to offer hope and support.  The event included members from various faiths, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Catholic, Hindu, the Church of Latter Day Saints., and the Native and Indigenous Peoples Initiative. The event also included a testimony from a consumer and a family member.  The Spirituality Initiative worked with NAMI in organizing the event which included 20 organizations (community based, faith based, and provider based) tabling the event as well as the speakers. Over 80 people attended this year’s event. 

The hour presentation began with Rev. Frazier opening the event with a prayer and Dr. Maria Lorente-Foresti Director of Office of Diversity and Equity of BHRS and Helene Zimmerman the Executive Director of NAMI, providing the welcoming addresses, and Issacs Fredericks from BHRS Spirituality Initiative being the MC for the event.

Following there were speeches/prayers from several of the faith base communities. Present and presenting for their faith were Rabbi Lisa Delson from Peninsula Temple Sholom, Anum Ahmed from Khalil Center, Akshat Sharma from Sanatan Mandir Hindu Temple, Fr. Lawrence Goode from St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Wesley Mukoyama, volunteer lay Buddhist Champlain of Santa Clara County Jail, and Rev. Dr. Janet Bower of Grace Pastoral Counseling, United Presbyterian Church (USA) who ended the event by calling all the faith leaders up to the podium for a closing prayer. 

There was also a speech from community member John Butler, who presented a testimonial as to how his faith helped him with his recovery and a speech from a family member Jean Perry, who shared how the support from her church, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, helped her with the loss of her husband to apparent suicide.  Those present enjoyed an inspirational song, “For Your Glory” by Tasha Cobbs, sung by Chantia Waren, a member of New Beginnings Church, Church of God in Christ.  

For more information about Spirituality Initiative, visit their web page here

Written by Melinda Ricossa, Co-Chair of Spirituality Initiative