Obama’s inauguration inspires hope, awe for United Methodists
Millions of people converge on the nation’s capital to witness the inauguration of Mr Barack Obama. – UMNS
picture by JAY MALLIN.
By LINDA GREEN, LINDA BLOOM
and KATHY GILBERT
UNITED Methodists were among the throngs of people who descended upon the nation’s capital to witness the inauguration of Mr Barack Obama as the 44th President of the
When Mr Obama placed his hand on the 148-year-old Lincoln Bible on Jan 20 and said, “I do solemnly swear,” he became the first African American to ascend to the highest office in the land and added another layer to the foundation laid by the late Rev Martin Luther King Jr.
Ms Michelle Gilstrap, 17, came to
The significance of the day left Bishop Gregory Palmer “breathless and feeling like I’m walking on air”. “It is unbelievable that this is happening, and I am so grateful to be a witness to it,” said Bishop Palmer, President of the United Methodist Council of Bishops. “The barrier of race has been removed from the highest office in the land.”
He called for prayers for the President and Congress as they face the challenges ahead.
Mr Obama said at his inauguration: “This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed – why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father, less than 60 years ago, might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.”
The Rev Kelvin Sauls, a staff member of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries in
“As an African, experiencing the inauguration is a day for which our ancestors lived, toiled and died,” said the Rev Sauls, a native of
‘Hope over fear’
Mr Obama provided an assessment of the country’s standing and his vision for the future. “Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real,” he said, addressing a crowd estimated at two million on the National Mall in front of the Capitol. “They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this,
He also told those assembled on the mall and those gathered around television sets that they had “chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.”
The Rev Albert Sampson, Pastor of Fernwood United Methodist Church in
He called President Obama’s address “an international message” with a personal touch. “His words were packaged to go around the world like a boomerang,” he said.
The idea that
Linda Green and Kathy Gilbert are United Methodist News Service news writers based in Nashville,