More than 500 people gathered at the Costa Mesa Hilton last week for the 53rd annual Orange Coast Mayors’ Prayer Breakfast.
The inspirational morning included many local mayors proclaiming a day of prayer in their cities, performances by the Vanguard University choir, and a message from keynote speaker Sam Brownback, Governor of Kansas, past United States Senator, and former member, U.S. House of Representative. He spoke about his journey to the highest office in the state.
The Mayors’ Prayer Breakfast kicked off Orange Coast Christian Outreach Week. From Monday, March 27 through Saturday, April 1, the community is invited to hear what the OCCO brochure describes as “Ordinary People Sharing Extraordinary Stories.”
Some of the stories include losing a son to heroin addiction, finding love and security after three failed marriages, caring for caregivers, three widows bonded in grief, journey of an ex-playboy bunny, and loving the unlovable.
The events are held at homes and clubhouses around the county, including many homes in Newport Beach and the Crystal Cove Clubhouse. There is no charge to attend the events.
Guest speakers include Jonathan Laurie, Jim Cosley, Jennifer Friend, and Veronica Stephens.
Orange Coast Christian Outreach, Inc. is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to change lives one story at a time. Last year there were over 1,000 attendees at the events and about 75 OCCO Committee members, hosts and speakers.
This year the sponsors include Vanguard University, Concordia University and a number of local businesses and churches.
“We are all called by God to share the message of the good news of Jesus Christ,” explained Dana Haynes, Chairman of OCCO. “We cannot just rely upon the churches to do this. The OCCO provides an opportunity for believers to share the good news in a non-church format. This provides an opportunity for people who ordinarily would not attend a church to hear the Gospel message. We are also called to pray for our leaders and the Mayors’ Prayer Breakfast affords an opportunity to do this.”
Dana, owner of Citivest Inc., a real estate development and management company, is new to his position as Chairman of OCCO, but not to the group.
“I first attended a Mayors’ Prayer Breakfast 15 years ago and was inspired to fill out a volunteer card,” he said. “So often we fill out cards thinking nothing will happen, but they called me and I joined the OCCO Committee that plans the Mayors’ Prayer Breakfast and Outreach Week. When Pamela Curry retired as the Chairperson of the OCCO, I was asked to step in as the new Chairperson.”
“The best part is the opportunity to help people,” he continued. “We have a great Committee which makes the experience an enjoyable one. There is a lot of work involved in planning the Mayors’ Prayer Breakfast and Outreach Week events, which requires a team effort. OCCO has a team of dedicated, motivated, selfless volunteers. It is my pleasure to provide leadership to this team and I consider it a privilege to devote the time and energy to help plan the events. Pamela Curry did a wonderful job leading us the past 14 years.”
Dana explained that the Outreach Week events are selected by the Committee over the course of numerous meetings discussing relevant topics that affect people in our communities.
“We then try to find speakers to fit these topics. We look for messages that Committee members have either seen themselves or heard about. We then research the speakers and find their availability,” Dana said.
For a complete listing of all the events, visit outreachweek.org.
Cindy can be reached at [email protected].