Cayman’s governmental leaders channeled their voices to a higher power on Wednesday, when they joined community members in celebrating the 23rd annual Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast.

The event, held at The Ritz-Carlton, featured an address by Governor Martyn Roper, who emphasized the healthy state of democracy in the Cayman Islands.

“We must protect good governance and the rule of law,” said Governor Roper. “We must cherish the democracy that allows us to live in freedom.

“And as Her Majesty The Queen so wisely said in her Christmas message, ‘treating other people with respect, even when differences are deeply held, is something we must hold on to.’”

Speaker of the House McKeeva Bush, who welcomed the gathering, noted that the parliamentary breakfast tradition was started by prominent Caymanian Dr. Edlin Merren.

Austin Harris, the elected representative for Prospect, served as the master of ceremonies for Wednesday’s breakfast, and scripture readings were done by MLAs Barbara Conolly and Kenneth Bryan, in addition to Richard Williams, the acting chief justice.

Several local spiritual leaders participated in the breakfast, including Pastor Randy Von Kanel, Reverend Mary Graham, Reverend Christopher Mason and Pastor Felix Manzanares. Pastor Alson Ebanks served as a guest speaker, and he was introduced by MLA Christopher Saunders. Pastor James R. Arch gave the benediction, and Gloria McField-Nixon, chief officer in the portfolio of Civil Service, offered a vote of thanks.

Anika Conolly sang the national anthem and Diana DeMacardo sang the National Song.