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Of Note: The Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast

Rush hour in Washington DC is all business. It was unusual to hear Bach on a solo violin in the middle of a metro station. Yet there it was, strings singing out in the cold, January air.

  Most of the thousand or so people who passed were too rushed be interrupted. Some dropped in a few dollars as they hurried by. One paused briefly, glanced at his watch and was off again, already late. Six people stopped for longer than a minute. Twenty dropped money in the violin case without breaking stride. 45 minutes and $32 later the music stopped. Silence took over. No one seemed to notice. No applause. Business was waiting. 

The musician was Joshua Bell, one of the world’s premier violinists. The composition was among the most intricate and demanding pieces Bach ever wrote, played on a multi-million dollar violin. Two days before, Joshua Bell played to a sold out Boston theater. Tickets averaged $100. Joshua Bell playing in the metro station was a social experiment conducted by the Washington Post. What priority do we assign to beauty? Do we appreciate it enough to pause? Do we acknowledge talent and excellence if it interrupts our busy day?

This story has been circulating online. It came to my inbox on the day I started publicizing Mayor Hallman’s Prayer Breakfast. It‘s scheduled for Thursday, April 5th, at 7:30 at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel. Registration is required and donations are being accepted for the homeless. It is an opportunity to assemble as a community and pray for the future of Tempe. It is also a chance to honor the work Hugh Hallman as done in the past 8 years of his service to our city as Mayor.

It does fall in the middle of Holy Week. I will not embarrass the Mayor with comparisons, but I will pause that day, the day before Good Friday, to acknowledge his service, commitment and leadership. Others may be too busy. “It’s Holy Thursday,” I’ve been told. “An odd day for a Christian to pick to have a breakfast.”

It will be an assembly of all faiths. All are welcome. Each will sacrifice something to be there. It’s early, and there is so much going on. It interrupts us all with the offer of an opportunity to pray for our community and acknowledge the excellence of our city’s leadership.

If our schedule will permit.



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Of Note: The Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast