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National Prayer Breakfast Gets A Rival: The People’s Prayer Breakfast

February 1, 2012, 3:07 pm | Posted by Casey Schoeneberger
By Jaweed Kaleem, Huffington Post
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FPL provided media support for this event.

Every February, the National Prayer Breakfast brings thousands of dignitaries, diplomats, politicians and clergy to Washington, D.C., for one of the most high-profile and exclusive networking events in the country for power-brokers and the faithful.

For over 50 years, the breakfast has been organized by the Fellowship Foundation, a discreet but highly influential group, and has drawn every U.S. president since since Dwight D. Eisenhower, as well as famed humanitarians ranging from Bono to Mother Teresa. President Barack Obama has attended each year of his presidency, as he will this year.

But when leaders gather in the Washington Hilton ballroom on Thursday morning, they won’t be the only game in town. The National Prayer Breakfast is about to get “occupied” — sort of.

Just half a mile from the hotel, dozens or perhaps hundreds of a network of clergy and their supporters, part of “Occupy Faith” within the Occupy Wall Street movement, plan to converge for their own “People’s Prayer Breakfast.”

“We thought prayer shouldn’t be used for access to power or to move forward people’s agendas,” said Brian Merritt, an organizer of the alternative breakfast who is pastor of the city’s Palisades Community Church. “Prayer connects us to something greater than ourselves, but also moves us in action for those around us. It challenges us to confront others’ needs.”

So while dignitaries and the nation’s leaders munch on an elaborate meal — a ticket to the formal prayer breakfast has been $650 in past years — the free People’s breakfast will entertain a little over 200 people for coffee, danishes, meditation and prayer.



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