National Day of Prayer event lifts community

By John McLoone
Posted 5/9/24

It was an uplifting morning as the Hastings Clergy Association held its National Day of Prayer Breakfast at the Starkson Family Life Celebration Chapel Thursday. The room was packed with City of …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

National Day of Prayer event lifts community


It was an uplifting morning as the Hastings Clergy Association held its National Day of Prayer Breakfast at the Starkson Family Life Celebration Chapel Thursday. The room was packed with City of Hastings, Hastings ISD #200, Dakota County Law Enforcement and Hastings Police and Fire Department leaders, community members and local clergy uniting in prayer for the community, the nation and the world.
The event, as usual, was emceed by the entertaining tandem of Pastor Paris Pasch of The Journey Church and Pastor Randy Berg of Cavalry Christian Church. Jesse Starkson and Pat Regan and their teams were thanked for sponsoring the breakfast.
“If you look around the room this morning, you can see representatives of every aspect of our community, education, our civic leaders, our law enforcement, really some extraordinary things, but we also have a wonderful representation from the pastoral community and the churches. We just couldn’t be more pleased. These are 200 of our best friends,” said Pasch.
Very Reverend Michael Tix, who serves as vicar general for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and is also parochial administrator of the tri-parish community of St. John the Baptist in Vermillion, St. Mathias in Hampton and St. Mary in New Trier led a prayer.
“WE thank you for bringing us together hereon this National Day of Prayer. We pray for our community and all who serve us and all their selfless ways to make a positive difference among us. Watch all of our ongoing efforts so that we might truly be your city set on the hill,” said Tix.
Hastings Mayor Mary Fasbender thanked the crowd for the support the city staff and its operations receive from the community.
“Hastings is and always will be a place of comfort and safety,” she said. “I appreciate your prayers for our city staff and council having tough conversations needed for some subjects and working with partners to make Hastings the best place that it can be.”
Hastings Police Chief David Wilske said law enforcement relies heavily on faith.
“Anytime we hire a new officer, we bring them out to lunch. Our message is always have faith. Now that might be a church, that might be fishing somewhere where you can fill your bucket and reconnect with who you are and have a conversation with God, because of the things that police and fire see on a daily basis,” said Wilske. “Sometimes you can struggle with your faith. So, if you can help us with that, that would be great. I’d also like to say that I feel like God had his hand on us yesterday. Right outside of Madison in a community, we had an active shooter, and they were able to neutralize that threat before he even made it into the school. It could have been a catastrophe but thank you for God’s intervention in that incident.”
Dakota County Sheriff Joe Leko urged kindness.
“Understand that everybody’s going through their won struggles in life and challenges in life. Sometimes we don’t understand that even our own that serve in public safety have their owns lives and sometimes they encounter those challenges on a daily basis and they have to juggle that along with the duties of the job, which can be difficult. They need to know they’re supported and that they have a supportive community around them,” he said. “I think the simplest thing as far as law enforcement goes and fire is just to say thank you when you see them and appreciate them because they do all this for you.”
Pat Regan was asked to take the podium to represent the business community. He spoke of how his faith has been important as he has worked to grow development and businesses in Hastings. His group’s most recent and notable achievement is The Confluence.
“There’s a place there under the flagpole at the park on the west side of The Confluence. We put some nice rocks there. I would encourage you to sit under that flagpole that I was encouraged to plant by a couple of our fellow faith prayer group members at St. Elizabeth. That’s why the flagpole is there. There’s a place you can sit and contemplate the bluffs on the other side and be by yourself and have a moment like the police chief encourage us to figure out who’s really in charge here,” said Regan. “We’re called to be pilgrims. You’re all pilgrims.”
Pastor Cliff Renner prayed for local businesses.
“What a privilege we have to go in and out amongst the businesses. We pray for ongoing prosperity for fruit to come,” he said.
Hastings Schools Superintendent Dr. Tammy Champa said in nearly one year at the helm of the district schools, she’s amazed at the Hastings community.
“I took the chance, and I came here, and now as I’m wrapping up the first year, I knew some of the challenges. What I didn’t know is what an amazing community this is. And the support has been nothing short of phenomenal. It is so fun for me to come in today, finishing up almost a year and to be able to recognize so many people in the room because of that outpouring of support and just have so much gratitude for all of that,” said Champa.
The group paid for the staff and parents.
“Education right now is a difficult area. The landscape has changed drastically. Our staff here is an amazing staff. I hope most of you have had an opportunity to interact with many of them. They come each and every day to do the very best for our students, and just pray for them and all they do and continue to do. It’s the kindness and support of all of you that makes our team an amazing team,” said Champa.
Brett Conklin, pastor at New Life Evangelical Free Church, led the prayer for churches and ministries in Hastings.
“I’ve been serving here for six years, and one of the greatest joys that I have is serving alongside the other pastors and ministry leaders here in our city,” he said. “There’s a genuine sense of unity among the believer here.”
Amy Sutton of Hastings Family Service represented the nonprofit community.
“I’m reminded how blessed I am to go to work every single day to be surrounded by and supported by a community like you. We feel it there every day,” she said.
Sutton said a community “is neighbors helping neighbors and caring about each other.”
She said Hastings Family Service has been working on its next five-year strategic plan.
“Our mission continues to be to engage the community and to provide help and hope for our neighbors. But we added a vision statement that, if we do that successfully, we know that we can achieve a caring and connected community where every person can thrive. I can’t think of a better example of a caring and connected community than what’s happening right here this morning,” said Sutton. “We need each other. We live in a world right now where there are some big challenges, but together we can make a difference.”