October 12, 2009
The Obamas Attend a Church in D.C.
The first family listened to a sermon on how Christianity has consequences.
President Obama attended St. John's Church with his family in D.C. yesterday, an Episcopal church close to the White House.
An administration official told CT that the Obamas have not settled on a new permanent church. Obama attended the same church on Easter Sunday and Inauguration Day, but it's unclear whether there was a particular reason they visited St. John's yesterday.
The Associated Press caught video of Obama and his wife Michelle talking with the Rev. Luis León before leaving the church with Joshua Dubois, the director of the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships:
Mike Angell, a seminarian of the church, posted a rough version of the sermon he gave on his blog:
We do not walk alone. Take a moment and look around this sanctuary. None of us walks this way alone. Christianity has consequences, and none of us can face those consequences alone. There is a danger to read the story of the rich man individualistically. We can make it a story about a man who has to individually choose whether or not he will follow Jesus. When Jesus invited the rich man to follow him, he invited him to join a community, a community boldly living life together in a new way. These followers of the way were later called Christians. Jesus walks beside us, and we walk beside our sisters and brothers, the body of Christ. Christianity has consequences, and none of us can face them alone. So I am excited to be here with you at St. John’s for the next couple of years. I am excited to walk with you and to boldly face, together, the consequences of our Christianity.
Here's the AP writes that several presidents have visited St. John's in the past because of its location and because it's familiar to the Secret Service.
A pew nine rows back from the altar carries a small brass plaque designating it as "The President's Pew." Former President George W. Bush often attended services, and church history claims that every president since James Madison, the nation's fourth chief executive, has visited.
The first service in the landmark church was held in 1816 and many former presidents have worshipped there.