Judson University Honors D. Ray Wilson Award Recipient Edward Hunter at Annual Prayer Breakfast and Wishes Judson President Well on Impending Retirement
(Elgin, IL - May 2, 2012) More than 375 local volunteers and civic leaders gathered at Judson University on Tuesday morning, May 2, for the Christian liberal-arts school's annual community Prayer Breakfast.
The morning's festivities began with the announcement of this year's winner of the D. Ray Wilson Award, Ed Hunter, current Regional Vice President of Mission Services at Provena St. Joseph Hospital and Provena Mercy Medical Center. He was founding board member of the Greater Elgin Family Care Center and has continued to serve as volunteer chaplain for Fox Valley Hospice and the Elgin Police Department. He also is a board member of the Illinois Eye Bank and Midwest Eye Bank and serves on the Salvation Army’s Advisory Council and the Coalition of Elgin Religious Leaders. Edward is a member of the Northern Illinois Critical Incident Debrief Team, the Elgin’s Care for the Underserved Coalition, the Aurora Primary Care Consortium and volunteers for the Community Crisis Center and Kane County Health Department. His years of volunteering and service have been recognized through several awards.
Hunter expressed gratitude to the Greater Elgin Family Care Center for nominating him, and said that his principles of volunteer service are the same as those of the Provena St. Joe's, with the goal to build healing and hope in the community. Hunter acknowledged the other nominees, among them Bruce Brandy, Dr. Felicia Chu, Dr. Phyllis E. Folarin, Jeff Turner, and Helen Strom, all of Elgin, and Leo Nelson, of Geneva. Read more about all of this year's nominees.
The D. Ray Wilson Award is given annually to the candidate who has contributed to the greater good within the Fox Valley community by voluntarily serving others' physical, emotional, intellectual or spiritual needs. In remembrance of his faithful service to the greater Elgin community, the award was named for Fox Valley civic leader and event founder D. Ray Wilson, who passed away in 2003. Judson's annual community Prayer Breakfast was first established by D. Ray Wilson in 1989.
Judson University President Dr. Jerry Cain was also honored at the community prayer breakfast by Judson Chair of the Board of Trustees Carol Thompson and by Elgin Mayor David Kaptain. In August, 2011 Dr. Cain announced his plans to retire from his post as Judson's president after 14 years with the university, effective June 30, 2012.
Thompson expressed gratitude on behalf of the trustees for Dr. Cain's work for Judson, calling him a passionate ambassador in the Elgin community.
Mayor Kaptain acknowledged Dr. Cain's grace and professionalism as a leader of Judson University and several other community organizations such as the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and the League of United Latin American Citizens Council #5236, for which he served as a board member. In honor of Dr. Cain's service to the community, Mayor Kaptain declared May 2, 2012 "Jerry B. Cain Day" and presented Dr. Cain with a key to the city of Elgin.
In his acceptance speech Dr. Cain expressed deep gratitude for the honor, and said that he wants to live in a town where volunteers like the D. Ray Wilson Nominees serve to uplift and improve the community. He said explained that though he would love to continue living in Elgin, he plans to move closer to his grandchildren and spend time with his wife, Linda.
"I don't know what I'll do come Friday, July 1, but I plan to do less of it and do it slower," he remarked ruefully.
He reassured Mayor Kaptain and the audience that they would love the incoming Judson president (yet to be announced) and that Judson would continue to bring economic drive and culture to Elgin.
Dr. Stuart Briscoe was this year's keynote speaker. Briscoe is an evangelical Christian author, international speaker and former senior pastor of Elmbrook Church of Brookfield, Wisc. Under Briscoe's leadership, weekly attendance grew from 300 to 7,000 and numerous sister churches were planted, making Elmbrook the largest church in the state of Wisconsin. Briscoe stepped down as Elmbrook's pastor in 2000, but he did not retire. He and his wife, Jill, continue to serve as Elmbrook's ministers-at-large, traveling to support under-resources churches and missionaries around the globe.
In Briscoe's address, "Praying Like an Apostle," he spoke of the human struggle to understand and engage in prayer.
"We live demanding lives. To take the time to be contemplative or introspective seems unproductive," said Briscoe. "We are bottom-line people. We want to be able to measure success. We want to find the bottom-line of prayer."
Using examples from Paul's letters to Timothy in the New Testament and with compassion and humor that delighted the audience, Briscoe said that prayers must seek discernment.
"We live in an age of information, not an age of wisdom," Briscoe explained. "Our prayers must ask God what we ought to do with what we know. The net result of prayer is knowing God better."