‘Solidarity Through Song’ — annual prayer breakfast is music to the ears

Mar 15, 2018

A tasty breakfast and an uplifting prayer service full of song might just be the best way to start the morning.

The annual prayer breakfast at Newman University was held March 15 in the Dugan-Gorges Conference Center. The breakfast, sponsored by the Gerber Institute for Catholic Studies, is organized by a committee of staff, faculty and student volunteers.

“The prayer breakfast is a fantastic annual tradition here at Newman that brings students, staff, faculty, alumni and the ASC community together,” said Campus Ministry Administrative Assistant Monica Borger. “It’s one of the big ecumenical services that we host at Newman along with the All Faiths Prayer Service.”

The theme this year was “Solidarity Through Song,” and those in attendance experienced the unity that the power of song can bring.

prayer breakfast
Faculty, staff, students and community members enjoy the prayer breakfast.

The free breakfast started at 7:30 a.m. Alumna Amy Baxt welcomed everyone and gave an opening prayer.

2017 alumnus David Baalmann started the program by singing “Praise You in this Storm,” reminding us all to look to God through our trials and tribulations. Executive Assistant to the President Tracy McGarey then read selections of scripture along with Assistant Professor of Theology Matthew Umbarger.

Sophomore Sadie Korte sang “Shout to the Lord” before guest speaker Earnest Alexander approached the podium.

Alexander is president of Youth Horizons, an organization pairing disadvantaged children with Catholic and Protestant mentors in the community. He mentioned Baalmann’s song and said, “One of the conclusions I’ve come to after 50 years of faith is that the hard times tell you what you really believe. We confess faith in God and everybody wants to believe that the grace of God is sufficient but no one wants to weather the storm.”

Alexander and his longtime friend Craig Curry filled the room with beautiful music for the remainder of the service.

Earnest Alexander
Earnest Alexander speaking to the audience.

Before Alexander began to sing, he noted, “Nothing pulls me into worship like music. I can hear the reading of the word and the preaching of the word and I thank God for it. But nothing brings me to conviction and repentance quicker than the right song.”

The breakfast was concluded with a closing prayer by seminarian Caleb Kuestersteffen and a group song led by Sadie Korte.