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Area Realtor plans first prayer breakfast

Organizers of Cottage Grove's first prayer breakfast hope it won't be the last.

The event is scheduled for Nov. 9 at the River Oaks Golf Course. To plan the event, local real-estate agent Mick Ramey is working with Russ Barrett, developer of the MN Prayer Breakfast Network.

"It's a community-based event to bring all the people together just to give thanks to one another and thanks to our Lord," Ramey said. "This is a chance for everyone, believers and nonbelievers to come together and have fellowship."

The event is patterned on the national prayer breakfast, Ramey said. The goal is to bring together community leaders such as city staff members, city government leaders, businesspeople and other members of the community, he said. There will be room for up to 350 people to attend, he said.

Barrett, who helped to organize the Woodbury Mayor's Prayer Breakfast, said the goal is to provide a time of reflection for community leaders.

"It's good to get together and talk about these things and seek God's guidance and direction in our lives," he said.

Barrett will emcee the event, and Dr. Phil Downer, president of the Discipleship Network of America, will speak. Recording artist Gwen Budish will sing. Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving will also be recognized. Barrett said he is also hoping community leaders such as the police chief and school superintendent will speak at the event.

In 17 years of organizing prayer breakfasts, Barrett said he's never heard people express concerns that the events could exclude people who are not Christian.

"It's really a personal preference: if people want to participate they certainly can, but if people are offended they certainly can not attend," Ramey said. "We're not going to be preaching to the crowd, but it's a chance to expose people to a really fun group of individuals."

During the breakfast, one local resident will lead the group in a community prayer for national, state and local leaders, Barrett said. The Rev. Bill Deziel, pastor at the Church of St. Rita in Cottage Grove, will be giving the invocation and Phil Print, Senior Pastor at CrossRoads Church in Cottage Grove will give the benediction, Barrett said.

Patricia Drey can be reached at