Columbia Union President Offers Prayer for U.S. Senate
Columbia Union President Offers Prayer for U.S. Senate Story by V. Michelle Bernard On Tuesday Columbia Union President Dave Weigley offered the opening prayer for the U.S. Senate in the Senate Chamber of the U.S. Capitol. “It is a great honor for me to participate, but it is not about me. It is about the church,” said Weigley, the first Seventh-day Adventist Church president to do so. “We are a viable force that God has designed to be on the Earth just before His return. This is recognition that God is calling our church to be involved in the last days. That is why Barry Black is there.”
U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black invited Weigley to serve as guest chaplain for the day. Black, whose prayers during the Federal shutdown made federal headlines, encouraged Weigley and the other leaders from the Columbia Union to become more involved in their local governments.
“Your group represents the greatest number of Seventh-day Adventist leaders who have ever visited my office. In the nearly 11 years that I’ve been here, there haven’t been many of our leaders to visit this office … You’re missing a great opportunity frankly to become more involved in the governments where you are. Many of you know that the prayers that I prayed during the Federal Shutdown became almost a cause célèbre. People are waiting for gadflies. People are waiting for individuals who are not afraid to call sin by its name,” he continued. Black, chaplain since June 2003, is the first Seventh-day Adventist to serve in this position. “We’re thankful to Chaplain Black for providing this opportunity,” says Celeste Ryan Blyden, the union’s communication director, who coordinated the prayer with Black and his staff. “As a church we need to seek more opportunities to make connections, build relationships and increase awareness of our faith.” The prayer includes six Bible texts and the “Doxology,” and espouses Adventist beliefs in creation, the Second Coming, religious liberty and community service. It aired on C-Span2. Here is a transcript of the prayer:
Let us pray. Almighty God, Creator and Maker of all. Who sits enthroned above the Earth, and in whom we live, move and have our being. We praise You from whom all blessings flow. We thank You for Your sustaining power, for peace and for the freedoms we enjoy. We ask Your blessing on our great nation, insightful leaders and dedicated lawmakers. Establish their steps, and give them discernment and courage to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly. Strengthen them to uplift those who are downcast, who need the compassionate touch of a brother or sister's hand. Above all, may Your Kingdom come, may Your will be done and may we readily incline our ears to Your call today. This we pray in Your holy and righteous name. Amen.
Before the prayer, Weigley, his Columbia Union leadership team and the presidents of the union’s eight conferences, Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Md., and an Adventist HealthCare representative met with Chaplain Black and several Adventist Hill staffers. Earlier that day, they met nearby for a special symposium on religious liberty.