Speakers at Prayer Breakfast highlight the power of faith
EASTON — The 36th annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast packed the Tidewater Inn’s Gold Ballroom Friday, Oct. 26.
Pastors and speakers from multiple fellowships blessed those in attendance, while sharing Scripture readings. Musical performances by Victoria Gomez and Krys Kozinski bookended speakers during the breakfast.
Bruce Strazza, worship leader for Christ Church in Easton, spoke about his struggle with addiction and finding his faith through his struggle. Strazza said before he was sober, he swam to the middle of the ocean.
“So yes I have heard the voice of God. And the God of heaven whispered ‘Abigail,’” Strazza said. “And I couldn’t understand why I was thinking of my nine-year-old
niece at my time of despair. See, I went into that ocean not wanting to come out.”
Strazza said after his revelation, he went to his sister, Laura’s house, who said she could notice a desperation in his voice when he asked for her help. His sister and her husband then took Strazza to Easton to her other sister, Eileen’s house.
He stayed in a tent in her backyard for nearly two weeks while detoxing.
“What I’m not telling you that on June 16th of 1996, we found my oldest brother Mark dead in an abandoned house in Baltimore with a needle in his arm,” Strazza said. “My family knows tragedy.”
Strazza said he believes the opioid issue is worse than people think, as he has witnessed the addictive nature of the disease firsthand.
“So people are talking about that this is an epidemic that’s going on in our world with the opioid addiction, and I believe that’s a lie. This is a pandemic. This has completely encompassed the globe,” Strazza said.
Strazza said parents need to be aware of the story of opioid addiction because often, they can be the largest enablers in addicts’ lives. Leaving prescription drugs where they are easily accessible is just one way adults can enable their children without realizing.
“And maybe I’m hurting your feelings right now and striking a nerve, but that’s why I’m here. To tell you the truth,” Strazza said. “It costs $30 to buy a lock box and put your opioids in there. It costs $10,000 to bury your child and a life of grief that you don’t understand — but I do understand. It never goes away.”
Stephanie Saunders, first vice president of The Hill Group at Morgan Stanley, spoke about her relationship with God, and how her faith had guided her to the life she wanted. Saunders said it was important to “step into your relationship with God.”
“When we’re in right standing with God, those doubts, those things that people say over you, they don’t have an effect on you. You don’t take offense because you stand in who you are, ...” Saunders said. “We walk this beautiful path of peace and along that peace comes a ton of joy.”
Saunders said while not everyone is meant to be a pastor or preach the word of God, that everyone had the ability to lend a kind hand to people during times of need.
“We’re there to uplift others. We’re there to see others for who they are, to honor them and to live a culture of honor where we bring Jesus Christ to others and we share the simplicity of the Gospel,” Saunders said. “And I think that you just save lives that way.”
Christ Church Easton Worship Leader Bruce Strazza speaks during the 36th annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast at the Tidewater Inn’s Gold Ballroom Friday, Oct. 26.
The room was filled during the 36th annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast at the Tidewater Inn’s Gold Ballroom Friday, Oct. 26.