Fw: In town pool report #4

From: Matt Viser [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Sunday, April 05, 2015 11:56 AM
To: Allen, Jessica
Subject: In town pool report #4

From our vantage point, it looks like POTUS and the First Lady are siting with their daughters between them, on the second row.

The coverage here is print only. There's no pool photographers, so don't expect images from them (although Pete Souza is up front, if the WH puts out his photos)

After hymns and and offering, the preacher, Howard-John Wesley, started his 20-minute sermon saying he was going to "talk, reach and preach a little bit." Every statement he made deserves an exclamation point.

He said you've got to make a decision, and referenced the civil rights movement choosing between Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.; in the 70s, he said, choices were Cowboys or Steelers. For some, choices are Prince or Michael Jackson; Biggie or Tupac; New Edition with Bobbie Brown or without.

"Even today in our political landscape, a line in the sand is drawn forcing you to make a decision on where you stand," he said. "Where do you stand with rights or same sex couples...where do you stand on gun reform, where do you stand with police body cameras? Where do you stand on affordable health care? Life has a way of making you make a decision."

"Where you stand on the resurrection of Jesus Christ: You either believe it or you reject it," he added.

"Christ is risen from the dead!" he said at one point. "If there's anything that will put an amen in your voice; if there's anything that will put some clapping in your hands...it's that Christ has risen from the dead!"

"Whenever I see an empty tomb, I am reminded: God. Is. Able. What is he able to do? Fill in the blank! Whatever you need him to do!"

The pastor also made a reference to police shootings: "Even when we've lost Trayvon and Michael and Eric and Tamir, we have a God who on the other side working out justice."

As the last hymn was starting at 11:40am, we were escorted out. By 11:43am, we were back in the motorcade and rolling.

--

Matt Viser
The Boston Globe, Washington bureau
cell - xxx-xxx-xxxx
office - xxx-xxx-xxxx

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