Community lifted in prayer at annual breakfast

By John McLoone

The Hastings Ministerial Association held its annual Prayer Breakfast Thursday to mark the National Day of Prayer.

The event brought together community and business leaders with a goal of lifting the community institutions in prayer. The event was held at the Starkson Family Life Celebration Chapel. Event emcees Pastor Paris Pasch of The Journey Church and Pastor Randy Berg of Calvary Christian Church credited the Starkson and Regan families for their support of the event.

“Each of you bought a ticket to come to the breakfast, but there’s the real story, the same thing that happened last year. The Regan and Starkson families were so generous to open up their hearts for this National Day of Prayer Event,” said Pasch. “And not only did they open up their hearts, but they opened up their building. The Starksons opened up their facility and gave this as a gift for this event. And these families also opened up their wallets, and they gave to pay for our breakfast so that all of our tickets sales can be given as a gift to Hastings Total Life Care this year. We’re so glad for their kindness.”

The opening prayer was led by Pastor Jim Anderson of The Harbor Church.

Mayor Mary Fasbender was invited to the podium to talk about city government.

“The city is very busy as you can see in the paper and with the moving of earth at our new developments, and we have a new police chief, and we have new employees,” she said. “It’s just a wonderful time to come together to help us pray for our city. We appreciate that.”

“Hastings has always been a community that comes together in times of need. We are there for one another,” she said. “That was shown in the past couple of years in the pandemic. We are thankful, and we are a community that will be working together to make Hastings the best place that it can be to live, play, work, raise our families and build a stronger future.”

City councilmember Lori Braucks led a prayer for government.

Chaplain Kevin Kehn of the Hastings VFW represented the military, and all veterans were invited to stand. Pastor Mark Miller of Resurrection Methodist Church led the prayer for the military.

A large contingent from the Hastings Police and Fire Departments and Dakota County Sheriff’s Department were on hand, including Police Chief Bryan Schafer who is retiring this month.

“We’re going to talk about a group that has been really close to the heart of the churches in Hastings and that is our law enforcement, fire and public safety. They’re an extraordinary group of people. I’m going to invite Police Chief Bryan Schafer to come forward. I’d just like to take this opportunity to make sure that you know what a great job he’s done here in our community,” said Pasch.

Schafer commented, “I have told many that I’ve been blessed to be the police chief in Hastings for the last 81/2 years. When I came here, I was welcomed with open arms, and I felt like I belonged here and there was a reason that I was here. It’s been phenomenal.”

“One of the things that really, really touched me is that Pastor Jim (Jim Bzoskie of Cornerstone Bible Church) is our chaplain, and he is in our office every Monday at 8 a.m. He comes in and he prays with us every Monday morning, and he works his way through the administrative office. That’s unheard of any place I’ve ever been in my near 40year career. That has been very touching, and it helps keeps us grounded. It sets the stage for the week. I’ll remember that forever.” The event also coincided with Teacher Appreciation Week, and Superintendent Dr. Robert McDowell was invited to make some remarks.

“First of all, it’s about kids, right? We know that kids are the heart of the community in any community, and the more we support the kids, the more we take care of our kids, the more the community thrives,” said McDowell.

“We have tons of positive things going on. We’ve got graduation to look forward to. We’ve got fourth graders getting excited to be middle schoolers. We’ve got eighth graders excited to be high schoolers for the first time. We’ve come out of COVID, and with the time we spent not in school, we’re in a much better place than many districts across the state and the nation. I think that has a lot to do with the community. I would ask today that we focus on our kids and think about how we support them socially, emotionally, academically,” said Mc-Dowell. “They are the biggest part of the community as we move into what’s next for Hastings. In addition to that, I think we need to think about our teachers and our support staff, because those people are the ones that make it happen for the kids in the classroom, in the hallways, on the sports field, on the stage, wherever it is.”

Scott Millner of Millner Family Chiropractic spoke on behalf of the business sector. “There’s always going to be challenges and struggles in business. That’s a guarantee. Having proper faith or good faith doesn’t make the problems go away, that’s for sure. But it definitely helps you get through the problems much easier,” he said. “You all have influences, and you have the ability to influence people today. You can lead people today, so just make the positive choices.”

Berg and Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Director of Evangelization Laura Stierman led the crowd in praying for Hastings churches before the event closed with praying for the family. Pasch introduced Andrea Kullman of Hastings Total Life Care.

“I’m blessed to be at TLC where we’re able to build strong families. We are here to help families have education, support and information they need along with the material assistance,” he said. “You just can’t imagine when they walk into that baby boutique, how the faces light up because I tell them this is the community of Hastings. These are people who never met you who want you and your child to have what you need. I continue to just thank this community for how generous they are and how supportive they are of families.”

The prayer breakfast was attended by residents from all walks of life and filled with hope and love for the Hastings Community. Attendees that were part of the Police/Fire/EMS group were honored for a moment and asked to stand. Photo by Bruce Karnick

Pastor Randy Berg, Mayor Mary Fasbender and Pastor Paris Pasch welcome attendees to the 2022 National Day of Prayer breakfast held at Starkson Family Life Celebration Chapel in Hastings. Photo by Bruce Karnick

May 11, 2022