President hosts Easter prayer breakfast

Complete with a buffet. Among the guests: Joel Osteen. For the pool report, released by the White House this morning, read below.

Pool Report No. 1, Tuesday, April 6, 2010
President convenes and addresses Easter Prayer Breakfast for Christian clergy

By Stewart Powell – Houston Chronicle
The President entered the East Room at 9:52 am to briefly address 90 members of the Christian clergy and guests seated at nine tables and awaiting a buffet breakfast. The guests included the Papal Nucio to Washington, D.C., Archbishop Pietro Sambi.

In brief remarks to the audience, the President cited the attendance of two Cabinet officers, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who is “keeping us safe each and every day.”

The President immediately referred to the coal mining disaster unfolding in West Virginia, extending his “deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers” to the families of dead and missing coal miners and mentioning that he had offered unspecified federal assistance to West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin in a telephone conversation last night. Obama asked his guests to “pray for the safe return of the missing” and for the souls of the victims.

Obama said his breakfast for Christian clergy was part of a broader effort to welcome all faiths to the White House that had included a celebratory dinner to mark the end of the Muslim fast of Ramadan and a sedar as a part of Jews’ commemoration of Passover.

The President, speaking from notes, spoke in personal terms about the inspiration he drew from the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, recalling the scorn and derision heaped upon Jesus en route to his crucifixion, the “torture” of his death by the Roman Empire and the “agony of his crucifixion.” Obama said that he drew particular inspiration “that speaks to me” from Christ’s final moments on the cross when Jesus “summoned what remained of his strength” to say, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

The President then introduced Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hall to deliver the first prayer as the pool was escorted from the East Room.

The WH press office released a partial list of attendees:

Pastor Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church, IL
Bishop Vashti McKenzie, Bishop, A.M.E. Church
Elder Nancy Wilson, Metropolitan Community Church
Commissioner Israel Gaither, National Commander, Salvation Army
Pastor Joel Osteen, Pastor, Lakewood Church
Hyepin Im, Korean Christian Community Development
Dr. Arturo Chavez, President, Mexican American Catholic College
Rev. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Fr. Larry Snyder, President, Catholic Charities
Rev. Peg Chemberlin, President, National Council of Churches
Dr. Julius Scruggs, President, National Baptist Convention of America
Sister Carol Keehan, President, Catholic Health Association
Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell, Senior Pastor, Windsor Village United Methodist Church

Stewart Powell – Houston Chronicle

Updated: April 6, 2010 — 10:59 am

Comments

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  1. The list is interesting in that it doesn’t include anyone from his own United Church of Christ, though it does include the General Minister of the Disciples of Christ, an organization that has threatened to merge with the UCC a time or two, and allows clergy to move between the two denominations. Also no Episcopalians, and one lone Methodist (two if you count the AME bishop).

  2. How about a hat trick? The Salvation Army has Methodist roots too.
    Did the Houston reporter really write “sedar” instead of “seder”? Oi vay!

  3. Jose, that expression reminded me that there is a brand of Kosher teriyaki sauce called Soy Vay. It’s pretty good, too; lots of sesame seeds, which I like.

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