Yebuah Calls Upon Crowd to Have Hope at 40th Annual MLK Triangle Inter-Faith Breakfast

Lisa Yebuah

Rev. Lisa Yebuah, Lead Pastor of Southeast Raleigh Table, delivers the keynote address at the 40th Annual Martin Luther King Triangle Interfaith Prayer Breakfast, sponsored by Capitol Broadcasting, at the Sheraton Imperial on Monday, January 20, 2020.

Capitol Broadcasting Company proudly sponsored the annual Triangle Martin Luther King Jr. Triangle Inter-Faith Prayer Breakfast for the 34th year on Monday, January 20, 2020.  The event took place at the Sheraton Imperial in Research Triangle Park, NC.  The theme for the 40th annual breakfast was based on Dr. King’s words, “We Must Accept Finite Disappointment, But Never Lose Infinite Hope.”

WRAL-TV Anchor/Reporter Gerald Owens emceed the live broadcast portion of the breakfast, which aired on WRAL-TV from 8:00-9:00am. live streamed the entirety of the breakfast, and the one-hour broadcast re-aired on FOX 50 at noon.

“We hope you leave here today with the some of the same fire that Dr. King showed as he led a movement in this country back in the 1960s,” said Owens as he took the podium.  “A fire that will compel you to make a difference in your communities and make your communities a better place to live.”

The breakfast included prayers for various clergy members around the Triangle, video greetings from the Mayors of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, and a special words from others.

“What makes you hopeful?” asked 11th grader Birtukan Lomax.  A student at the Carolina Friends School in Durham, she brought the Special Youth Moment in the first half of the program.

“Take time to reflect upon Martin Luther King’s message,” she said.  And then closed with the questions, “What have been your finite moments of disappointment? How do you stay hopeful?”

James White, Executive Vice President of Organizational Relations at YMCA of the Triangle cautioned that we can put King as “an icon frozen in time,” but challenged, “His words make sure we do not live in denial.”

Isabel Davis

National Recording Artist Isabel Davis of New Orleans delivers a tribute in song at the 40th Annual Martin Luther King Triangle Interfaith Prayer Breakfast, sponsored by Capitol Broadcasting, at the Sheraton Imperial on Monday, January 20, 2020.

National Recording Artist Isabel Davis of New Orleans brought the crowd to its feet with a Musical Tribute.  Students from NC Central also brought musical inspiration earlier in the program.

Lisa Yebuah, lead pastor of Southeast Raleigh Table, delivered the keynote address. She referred to the young Lomax and her question, “How do people in desperate situations hold on to hope?”

Yebuah followed up on the question, saying, “How do we in desperate situations hold on to hope?  If you have ever sat with someone on the mourner’s bench who is dealing with loss or a death even the death of their dreams, you know that sometimes holding on to hope feels like a life or death situation.  It’s weighty question.  How is it that we hold on to hope?”

She talked about the paradox of singing a song of hope when in a place of hopelessness, being mindful of not being dismissive of the hard time.

“We should never domesticate what it is to sing a song despite the circumstances,” said Yebuah.  “It’s so easy to be like, ‘Let’s sing a song of joy,’ when you have no joy.  And ‘let’s sing a song of hope’ when there seems to be no hope.  It is easier said than done to sing a song of hope that’s against the data when you are living the reality of that data.”

But she spoke of the importance of having hope in spite of dark times and disappointment.

“But this is the beautiful thing about these songs of hope,” she said.  “Is that they always present themselves and they’re always revealed to us in the very places of hopelessness.  Hope always stands as the antidote to hopelessness.”

MLK Triangle Inter-Faith Prayer Breakfast

Capitol Broadcasting Company proudly served as presenting sponsor of the Martin Luther King Triangle Interfaith Prayer Breakfast for the 34th time on Monday, January 20, 2020.

She challenged that, “To sing a song of hope, of God’s preferred future, is also to recognize the world as it is, as we’re singing about the world as it should be. Hope, on the other hand, expands our imagination for what new realities can look like.”

She asked the crowd not to fall into the thought that there is only the difficult times.

“Hope is anchored in an unwavering belief that your present reality isn’t the only reality,” said Yebuah.  “If we do not cling to hope, we will never know what it is to taste and see that life is good.  Because the way of hopelessness and despair will become what we consider to be our norm.”

She left the crowd uplifted saying, “Hope is always anchored in the expectation that something else can happen.”


SLIDESHOW:  40th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Triangle Interfaith Prayer Breakfast


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