Father Joseph Arsanious of the Coptic Orthodox Church offers a prayer during the 2021 National Day of Prayer, put on in Alameda County by Supervisor David Haubert at the fairgrounds in Pleasanton last week. Dublin City Councilmember Sherry Hu introduced several speakers from various religious backgrounds.

Faith leaders included: Pastor Steve Madsen, Cornerstone Fellowship; Pastor Terry Inman, Harbor Light; Head Priest Bhai Jaswinder Singh, Livermore Gurdwara; Bishop J.W. Macklin, Glad Tidings Church; Founder Moina Shaiq, Meet a Muslim; Father Joseph Arsanious, Coptic Orthodox Church; Pleasanton Stake President Brian Black, the Church of Latter-Day Saints; Ustadh Feraidoon Mojadedi, Muslim Community Center; Masee Hassan, San Ramon Valley Islamic Center; Pastor Bassanio, Forerunner Christian Church; Easan Katir, Hindu American Foundation; Master Xinxin Shi, Fa Yun Chan Temple; Father Erik Villa, St. Raymond’s Catholic Church; Reverend Anthony Woods, Palma Ceia Baptist Church; Father Carl Tacuyan Arcosa, St. Michael Catholic Church; and Rabbi Raleigh Resnick, Chabad of the Tri-Valley.

They offered prayers and statements about their respective faiths to the live and virtual crowd in part of a prayer tradition that predates the founding of the United States. Later, in 1952, Congress established an annual day of prayer. In 1988, that law was amended, designating the National Day of Prayer as the first Thursday in May.