The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Reverend M. Susan Peterson

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
St. Paul, MN

Sponsor: Rep. Rep. Gil Gutknecht, (D-MN)
Date of Prayer: 05/04/2005

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Mr. GUTKNECHT. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor our guest chaplain, Reverend Susan Peterson of St. Paul, Minnesota. I often tell students when they come to the Capitol that the first official act of the Continental Congress was to appoint a chaplain. The second thing they did was they prayed. They prayed for an hour and a half. We have long understood the importance of faith in our society.

Reverend Peterson is the senior pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in St. Paul. She was the first woman in the ELCA to be called as a senior pastor to a large Lutheran congregation. A proud Minnesota native, she attended Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota; Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois; the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia; and in 1985, she and her family moved to St. Paul where she was called to the position of associate pastor at Gloria Dei.

Susan has served in a variety of leadership positions for the St. Paul Area Synod, as well as a number of other church–related institutions.

I thank the Reverend Peterson for her service as guest Chaplain for the United States House of Representatives.

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

God of grace, healer of the nations and source of all that is generous and good, we call You by many names, yet we seek the same hope. We travel on different pathways but long for the same promise of peace. Help us to discover within the great variety of Your people a common purpose to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly on the earth. Grant our elected leaders the wisdom and courage to stand for what is life giving. And in full measure, support them in work both tedious and challenging to seek the well being of all people.

Help each of us to overcome the barriers that separate us one from another, to advocate for those who have no voice, and to allow the freedom we know in this great land to move us to act with concern and compassion on behalf of others. May Your wisdom prevail in this place, and Your blessing rest on all who serve here. Together, we pray, Amen.

To learn more about Members who have sponsored a Guest Chaplain, please visit the Congressional Biographical Directory