• Easton Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast Returns

    CONTACT: Amy Steward (410) 829-0436 or asteward@goeaston.net
    Easton Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast Returns
    On Friday, October 29, 2021, Easton’s 38th Annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast was held at the Tidewater Inn in Easton.  This year’s breakfast featured speakers Derek White, Group Executive, YMCA of the Chesapeake and John J. Horner, Jr. Senior Vice President of Operations & Chief Operating Officer, Easton Utilities. Approximately 150 people were in attendance.
    Horner shared a story from his childhood about neighborhood bullying when he was just learning to ride a bike. He was teased for the look of his bike and a friend allowed him to ride his bike home instead, protecting him from neighborhood bullies.
    “I was six years old when I felt an act of selflessness toward me,” he stated. “This friend gave me an incredible boost of a tailwind that day. It only takes one person to be kind and change someone’s life forever. I didn’t see God in it then, but I can see it now,” Horner shared.
    Horner credited his parents as being the wind in his sails throughout his life – a never-ending wind.
    “Moving to Easton has rekindled my commitment to others. I was welcomed with open arms here,” he added.
    “This room is our community church. Everyone in the room is helping to lift each other up.”
    White, who has always been associated with the YMCA, shared the importance of the “C” in the YMCA name, which stands for “Christian” and his passion for working for an organization that cares about Christian mission work. Two events in his lifetime have shaped his deep faith in God. The first was the 2007 shooting at his alma mater Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University which was in his hometown Blacksburg, Virginia. He had two siblings on campus that day who fortunately remained safe.
    “We were hurting for our hometown and having difficulty understanding how a tragedy like this happens,” he commented.
    White said that he was brought back to the Lord through the actions of his wife at a memorial service for those who died that day.
    The second event that impacted White was the 2019 murder in the locker room of the Easton YMCA which deeply affected the entire YMCA leadership team.
    “I had survivor guilt about how this could happen in our facility. I leaned on those I knew to help me through it,” he explained.
    “I saw the love of Jesus in several things that happened during that time.”
    White recalled the forgiveness shown by the widow of John Cassidy, the victim in the murder, for his murderer; God’s protection of the children in the nearby middle school during the incident; and a homeless man after the incident as all helping him to see Jesus’s love.
    White challenged the audience with the question, “How will you convey the mystery of Christ through love today?”
    Music for the event was provided by the Presbyterian Church of Easton Choir.

     Pictured left to right are Easton Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast speakers Derek White, Group Executive, YMCA of the Chesapeake; Easton Mayor Robert Willey; and John J. Horner, Jr. Senior Vice President of Operations & Chief Operating Officer, Easton Utilities.

    Pictured is the Presbyterian Church of Easton Choir which performed at the Easton Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast.


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