National Prayer Service Lineup Announced
The clergy line-up for the National Prayer Service, a worship service held at 8 a.m. at the National Cathedral the day after president-elect Barack Obama's inauguration, has been announced. Clergy members representing six different faith traditions in American life will offer prayers at the worship service, which is invitation only. The Presidential Inaugural Committee says in a press release that they "symbolize America's traditions of religous tolerance and freedom":
*Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America.
*The Rev. Suzan Johnson-Cook, senior pastor of the Bronx Christian Fellowship in New York City.
*Rabbi Jerome Epstein, director of the United Synaogue of Conservative Judaism in New York City.
*The Rev. Carol Wade of Washington National Cathedral.
*Uma Mysorekar, president of the Hindu Temple Society of North America in New York City.
*The Rev. Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners in Washington, D.C.
*Rabbi Haskal Lookstein, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurunm in New York City.
*Kirbyjon Caldwell, senior pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston.
But wait, there are more. See the rest after the jump.
The Rev. Samuel T. Lloyd III, dean of Washington National Cathedral, will welcome attendees, while Washington Episcopal Bishop John Bryon Chane will give the invocation.
The Rev. Otis Moss Jr., senior pastor emeritus of Olivet Institution Baptist Church in Cleveland will give the opening prayer. A prayer for civic leaders will be offered by the Rev. Andy Stanley, senior pastor of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Scripture readings will be provided by Cynthia Hale, senior pastor of Ray of Hope Christian Church in Atlanta; Archbishop Demetrios, primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, and Washington Auxiliary Bishop Francisco Gonzalez. Rabbi David Saperstein, executive director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism will deliver a psalm.
Washington Archbishop Donald Wuerl will offer a prayer for the nation, Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts-Schori will give a closing praye, and a benediction will be offered by the Rev. Wesley Grandberg-Michaelson, general secretary of the Reformed Church in America.
As previously announced, the Rev. Sharon E. Watkins, general minister and president of the Disciples of Chris (Christian Church) will deliver the sermon.
In all, a diverse bunch--more diverse than in previous National Prayer Services, which have been a tradition since George Washington. It appears that this is the first time a Hindu clergy member has been involved in the National Prayer Service. It also appears to be the first time that rabbis from three major branches of Judaism (Reform, Conservative and Orthodox) have spoken. This is the third National Prayer Service for Caldwell, who spoke at both of George W. Bush's National Prayer Services. But last year, he endorsed Obama for president.
By Jacqueline Salmon
David A Nakamura
January 16, 2009; 4:42 PM ET
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