WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama began the first full workday of his second term with a rousing, spiritual appeal for unity and strength from church leaders of different faiths.
Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were joined by their wives Tuesday at the Washington National Cathedral for the traditional post-inaugural national prayer service. There were prayers for those who govern, those in the armed forces and the nation as a whole.
For Obama and Biden: “Make them bold for the work you have set before them,” said Kathryn Lohre, president of the National Council of Churches.
And “when you feel your lowest, don’t give up,” Rev. Adam Hamilton, senior pastor at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kan., told the president in an engaging sermon that drew laughter and applause among the 2,200 people gathered at the soaring cathedral.
Hamilton said the nation, its leaders and people need to rise above their differences and find common ground _ a national vision that unifies the country.
He said Obama has been blessed with a unique vision. “You should have been a preacher,” Hamilton told Obama.
The Washington Performing Arts Society’s children’s choir sang “Determined to Go On” to delighted guests as Obama and first lady Michelle Obama bobbed their heads along with the music.
A range of faiths was represented among speakers at the cathedral service, including the Rev. Barbara Williams-Skinner, co-chair of the National African American Clergy Network; Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly; Imam Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America, and Rev. Nancy Wilson, leader of the Metropolitan Community Churches _ a denomination founded as a spiritual refuge for gay Christians.
It was the third straight day of religious worship for Obama surrounding his second inauguration, including Sunday at Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church and Monday at St. John’s Episcopal Church.
The 106-year-old Episcopal cathedral has long hosted presidential inaugural services. It was also the site of funerals for former presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his last sermon there in 1968.
Earlier this month, the cathedral said it would begin hosting same-sex weddings.
Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed to this report.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.