Fw: Pool Report #1

From: Clift, Eleanor [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Tuesday, April 07, 2015 10:40 AM
To: Velz, Peter
Subject: Pool Report #1

White House annual prayer breakfast: Round tables set up in East Room, pool escorted in at 9 am as plates of what appeared to be eggs and grilled veggies were being cleared. Thanks to religious press in pool who identified these notables: Cardinal David Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington; Melissa Rogers, who heads the White House faith-based office; Tom Reese, National Catholic Reporter, Montsignor Ron Jenkins, general secretary of US Bishops Conference, Joshua DuBois, former head of WH faith-based office, Valerie Jarrett sitting next to C.T. Vivian, civil rights activist, and also at her table, Rev. Sharpton and Gene Robinson, Episcopal priest; Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourner, Suzan Jackson Cook, former ambassador of religious freedom, a State Department post, Leif Anderson, National Association of Evangelicals, Bishop Vashti McKenzie, first woman Bishop

You can see from the list it is an ecumenical group within the Christian tradition.

From the White House, seated at POTUS table:

Rev. Dr. Ann Lightner Fuller

Rev. Justin Fung

Ms. Amy Grant

Father Anthony Messeh

Sister Donna Markham

Ms. Edna Griggs

Ms. Emma Primas

Ms. Laura Mickey

Pastor Amy Butler

Program began at 9:30 with Vice President Biden, who quoted Pope Francis’ Easter message about “entering into mystery,” saying that “as a people and as individuals, we are defined by our ability to enter into the mystery…To live Easter is to live with the constant notion we can always do better.” And with that, he introduced POTUS as someone who “transforms hope into possibility and possibility into opportunities.”

POTUS began with thanks “for this day the Lord has made.” Then confessed that his first concern was “whether you got enough to eat.” He says prayer breakfasts aren’t always as advertised – You get there and there’s maybe a muffin and a couple of berries. “Your soul may be nourished, but you may be hungry.” Amidst the knowing laughter, he reflected on his daughters growing up and going on college visits. “I find myself tearing up in the middle of day – I can’t explain it – why am I so sad,” he said in a self-mocking pitying voice. “They’re leaving me.”

He thanked everyone for coming in the middle of a busy holy week, noting that while his work may not be as lofty, “You should try dealing with a thousand people in your back yard.” Plus his nephews, ages 6 and 4, spent the weekend. “Girls are different from boys,” he observed. “I need some quiet reflection.”

He noted the passing of Dr. Gordon C. Taylor, a civil rights hero and friend of Dr. King. Taylor taught and mentored countless young ministers, and “leaves a living legacy.”

“I am no preacher,” POTUS said, noting that he couldn’t tell anyone in this crowd anything about Easter they didn’t already know. “The story didn’t end on Friday; the story keeps on going…Eastern is affirmation that there are better days, and this is on us, the livig to make them so.”

POTUS quoted Pope Francis about how we should “strive to see the light in every excluded person…even those who have lost their faith.”

“As a Christian, I’m supposed to love,” he said. “Sometimes when I listen to less than loving expressions by Christians, I get concerned….. PAUSE …. But that’s a topic for another day,” he said to laughter. “I was about to veer off…

Rev. Dr. Amy K. Buter, The Riverside Church, New York City, delivered the opening prayer. “He sounds like a preacher to me,” she said as she took the podium after POTUS>

Amy Grant, a popular Christian music singer, performed “A Lamp Unto My Feet.” She was followed by Father Anthony Messeh, St. Timothy & St. Athanasius Coptic Orthodox Church, in Arlington, Va., who gave the scripture reading as the pool began to exit.  After pool left and according to program, Howard Gospel Choir performed followed by scripture reading, Sister Donna Markham, OP, president Catholic Charities USA, a closing reflection by Rev. Dr. Ann Lightner-Fuller, Mt. Calvary African Methodist episcopal Church, Towson, Md, and closing prayer by Rev. Justin B. Fung, The District Church, Washington DC

As always check quotes against transcript which should be available alter this morning.

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