By Jason KUROSU
Tuesday brought together members of all occupations, ages and faiths for Crescenta Valley’s first prayer breakfast held at the Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Montrose. Over 250 people attended the breakfast Tuesday morning, filling Holy Redeemer’s Healy Hall to capacity and hearing prayers from a panel made up of seven spiritual leaders in the area, encompassing various denominations and faiths.
Music was provided by the Crescenta Valley High School a- cappella group, the Charismatics.
The audience was blessed in Korean, Armenian and English by the different faith leaders who all voiced their pleasure at being at the inaugural event.
However, the focus of the breakfast was not necessarily religion, but youth. Dr. Chap Clark, professor of youth, family and culture at the Fuller Theological Seminary, talked about his experiences working with adolescents, especially as a substitute teacher at Crescenta Valley High, where he compiled data for his 2004 book, “Hurt: Inside the World of Today’s Teenagers.” During his time at CV during the 2001-02 school year, Clark spoke about just listening to the students in his substitute classes, and how by listening to what the kids had to say, there was a clear disconnect between what the experts were saying and what was actually going on with teenagers.
He was in a unique position, where the students felt they could speak to him on a level they couldn’t with other teachers or their parents, “on holy ground” as Clark described it, and the conclusions he received from teens were that they felt alone and were having expectations forced upon them when they did not know yet who they wanted to be.
Describing his emotions following the conclusions of the study, Clark said “It was a mandate to tell my peers in the adult world that this is the world we’ve handed kids and from their perspective, it’s killing them. Without a doubt, this is the most stressed and isolated generation in history.”
His presentation brought a standing ovation from breakfast attendees who were then sent on their way following a benediction by Pastor Paige Eaves of Crescenta Valley United Methodist Church.
Breakfast organizers Danette Erickson and Harry Leon, both from the Crescenta Valley Town Council, were pleased at the turn out.
“It went great,” said Leon adding that the help received from local volunteer organizations, like the Prom Plus Club, made the event run that much smoother.
But the success of the breakfast was not a surprise to all.
“I’m happy at how well it went,” said fellow organizer Liz Arnold. “But I’m not surprised. After all, this is the type of thing that we do up here in the Crescenta Valley.”