First published in the Jan. 12 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.
Approximately 100 faith leaders from Pasadena and neighboring communities came together at the starting point of the 134th Tournament of Roses Parade to usher in the new year in united prayer.
The Rose Parade theme for 2023 was “Turning The Corner,” a fitting theme for the community.
The event, Faith Leaders Unite, came about through a collaboration last year between local clergy, elected officials and Tournament of Roses leaders who agreed that “it was proper and important to bring clergy together ahead of the world-renowned Rose Parade to bless the community and the event in this manner,” said Pastor Mayra Macedo-Nolan, executive director of the Clergy Community Coalition.
For the second annual event, the Clergy Community Coalition and the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance served as co-sponsors. Together, the two clergy networks represent more than 250 local faith communities.
“We are thrilled by the enthusiastic response from faith leaders in our community to join together once again, ‘Turning the Corner’ into another year,” Macedo-Nolan said. “We believe it is our privilege and responsibility to go ahead of this community in prayer over the land, the people, the events, the needs, and our highest hopes for a more safe, just, and prosperous Pasadena.”
“Each new year, the Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl Game usher in an opportunity for the world to celebrate together: New hopes and great expectations for peace and goodwill. Starting the year in prayer and gratitude across the different faiths demonstrates our unity and belief that even a global pandemic would not deter our community celebration from marching on,” said Assemblyman Chris Holden.
Clergy joined together with local elected leaders for a breakfast hosted by Maranatha High School prior to the prayer event. The prayer event portion of the day was held on the lawn of the Tournament of Roses headquarters at Wrigley Mansion on Orange Grove Boulevard and included a “land welcome” by leaders of the Gabrielino (Tongva) Band of Mission Indians and prayers by several clergy. The group then walked in procession to the intersection of Orange Grove and Colorado boulevards where the event concluded with additional prayers.
“Although we are internationally known for the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses prides itself in celebrating the diverse cultures, values and beliefs of our outstanding community on parade day and beyond,” said Pasadena Tournament of Roses President Amy Wainscott.
“The parade theme, ‘Turning the Corner,’ serves as our guide as we continue to rise above, stay focused and keep the faith that the promise of a New Year remains,” she continued. “Through the second annual Faith Leaders Unite prayer event, the community has an opportunity for a fresh start, turning the corner together with hope and celebration to unlock the unlimited potential of this new year.”
“We are so blessed to have the faith leaders of Pasadena come together to pray in the new year for our community. We at Maranatha are thankful to be a small part of making this event happen on our campus. Prayer is the most powerful resource known to mankind; what a great way to end the year and pray in the new year together,” said Maranatha Head of School John Rouse.