Prayer opens UMES Homecoming
Written by Liz Holland of The Daily Times staff
PRINCESS ANNE – (Feb. 26, 2011) - The keynote speaker at the eighth annual President's Interfaith Prayer Breakfast at UMES on Friday urged her audience to look for ways to make a difference in the world.
Justine Willis Toms, a radio talk show host and author of Small Pleasures: Finding Grace in a Chaotic World, listed five inspirations that can "hold you steady in the current."
Among the inspirations, Toms said it's important to keep one's mind and heart open, to make contributions to the community and to celebrate one's own accomplishments.
"What we do in the world makes a difference, no matter how small," she said.
UMES President Thelma B. Thompson enjoys listening to Toms' radio program and extended her a personal invitation to speak at this year's breakfast.
Toms and her husband, Michael, can be heard on WESM-FM as co-hosts of an hour long show, "New Dimensions."
Toms is co-founder and managing producer of New Dimensions Media/World Broadcasting Network and New Dimensions Radio, a not-for-profit, educational organization that produces and distributes motivational radio programming heard around the world.
Over the past four decades, the couple is credited with creating "a powerful and transformative archive with leading-edge thinkers, spiritual leaders, change agents, indigenous voices, artists, scientists, healers, ecologists and social architects."
Thompson, who hosted the prayer breakfast, said the event is an effort to bring together people from diverse ethnic and religious groups.
"We are one in terms of humanity," she said.
In addition to Toms' speech, prayers were offered by clergy of several denominations.
About 120 people who attended the event also heard performances by the UMES Jazz Combo and the Rev. Mishael E. Miller of Pennsylvania Avenue AME Zion Church in Baltimore, an inspirational music ministry vocalist.
Proceeds from the prayer breakfast will benefit the UMES student scholarship fund.
The prayer breakfast was part of a week-long Homecoming celebration at UMES attended by alumni, UMES staff, local elected officials and community members.
Homecoming events continue today with a parade through Princess Anne, and men's and women's basketball games against Howard University in the afternoon.
Photo: (Top right) Keynote speaker Justine Willis Toms, a radio talk show host and author of “Small Pleasures: Finding Grace in a Chaotic World,” listed five inspirations that can “hold you steady in the current.”
Photo: (Bottom left) From left are Rev. Mark Thompson, master of ceremonies; UMES President Thelma B. Thompson; and Rev. Mishael Miller, an inspirational music ministry vocalist.
This article is reproduced with permission of The (Salisbury, MD) Daily Times newspaper.