New Year's Day for some city and county leaders is now synonymous with the Annual City Councilman Myron Lowery's Prayer Breakfast.
Lowery started the event 22 years ago to help bring politics and prayer together to fashion a better community.
The gathering of local politicians and the people in an atmosphere of prayer and cooperation began back in 1992 with the swearing in of the first African-American mayor and majority African-American city council.
Councilman Lowery says he never dreamed that it would continue, but with each passing year the need for prayer and coming together seems more important than ever.
"We have got to move forward together," he said. "If not, we will fail together. Collierville is just as important as Memphis as is Bartlett. We are one Shelby (County), one Memphis working together for everyone's benefit."
For that to happen County Mayor Mark Luttrell said opposing sides of issues must show more leadership and less childlike one upsmanship.
"I want to see a cooling of the embers on these issues," Mayor Luttrell said. "As adults our primary, I think, reasonability is to raise up the next generation. You do that first and foremost with a solid education system. So as adults we have got to start acting like adults and start looking for that common ground."
Memphis Mayor A C Wharton said that common ground is more likely to be found outside the courtroom.
"I'm sure there will be more cooperation," he said. "I think the idea of going to court, I think that is pretty well foreclosed. What will happen in legislature, we do not know. I would hope we do not try anything there which would compel us to work together locally. I'm sure something will be hammered out over the next month or so. What it will look like, I have no idea, but we will reach some accommodation."
So will we see more cooperation between city and county in the coming year? Well, that remains to be seen. But at least, for now, the city and county officials are meeting at a prayer breakfast and that's a good thing.
U.S. Congressman Steve Cohen was going to attend but had to cut his holiday vacation short and return to Washington, D.C., to vote on the fiscal cliff in the House.
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