September 19, 2010
Obama Makes Rare Church Appearance
President Obama and his family attended St. John's Episcopal Church today, a rare appearance for the President who said earlier this year that his family has decided to not join a church because they are disruptive.
The Chicago Sun-Times says this visit is his sixth in D.C. since taking office. The church visit comes after the Pew Forum and others released polls that suggested that at least 18 percent of Americans believe Obama is a Muslim.
The White House released the following pool report about today's church visit.
The first family left the White House on foot this morning for the 9am choral holy eucharist service and sermon at St John's Church Lafayette Square.
The Obamas walked out of the residence at 8.49am and crossed the park to the nearby Episcopal church.
The president was wearing a dark suit and held Sasha Obama's hand. She was wearing a blue dress and cream cardigan. Michelle and Malia Obama were wearing cream-colored dresses. (Check photos for accuracy of descriptions. It's sunny and pool was at a distance.)
The service sheet doesn't indicate what the sermon is on but the gospel is Luke 16:1-13, which ends 'You cannot serve God and wealth.'
Update: The White House also released another pool report:
The sermon also included some reflections on the story as an example of how "Jesus has a sense of humor... he also likes to shock us" and the extent to which "everyone has cut a corner or two."
Revd. Leon said that for him, an example was accepting a good citizenship award and $50 from the DAR in Rome, Georgia, when he was graduating high school there. "Now the problem was, I wasn't a citizen," he said, prompting laughter from the congregation.
Revd. Leon also referenced "The Help", which he said he'd just finished reading, as an instance where three women in the 1960s south rise above what is expected of them by breaking the rules.
All four members of the family took communion when they went up to the altar.
Sitting with the first family was Joshua Dubois, head of the White House faith and neighborhood partnerships office.
POTUS appeared to share a joke with the rector while leaving the church.
Clothing clarification: First lady was wearing a white dress with flowered pattern and light-colored jacket over it. Malia Obama was wearing a blue dress with flowered pattern and light-colored jacket over it.