The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Reverend John Appel

Frederick Seventh-day Adventist Church
Frederick, MD

Sponsor: Rep. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, (R-MD)
Date of Prayer: 02/08/2006

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Mr. BARTLETT of Maryland. Mr. Speaker, Pastor Appel's ministry extends beyond his congregation to embrace the entire Frederick community, as well as missions abroad. He is currently serving as the president of the Ministerial Association of Frederick County, Maryland. This organization is composed of all of the ministers in the county. It meets monthly to engage in fellowship, dialogue, and to promote interfaith cooperation and activities to meet the spiritual needs of Frederick County residents.

Pastor Appel is also an active supporter of the Adventist Church's Hope for Humanity projects in southern Africa in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Pastor Appel explained: ‘‘Hope for Humanity is coming to this program saying, ‘Here are some challenges, here are some needs. We are a world church. We just can't stay focused congregationally. We've got to start thinking about our brothers and sisters around the world who need our help.' ''

Mr. Speaker, today's prayer continues a tradition that began when Benjamin Franklin spoke during a moment of crisis at the Constitutional Convention, and these are his words: ‘‘In the days of our contest with Great Britain when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity to establish our Nation. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Do we imagine that we no longer need His assistance? I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men.

‘‘If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that a new Nation can rise without his aid? We have been assured, sir, in the sacred writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of heaven and its blessings on our deliberations be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to any business.''

Mr. Speaker, I am really honored that my pastor, Pastor John Appel , senior pastor of the Frederick Seventh–day Adventist Church and currently serving as the president of the Ministerial Association of Frederick County, is here today to continue this precedent followed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate. ;

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

By your grace we are citizens of this nation. Forgive us when we fail to do our part to keep this democracy healthy. Guide us as we work for its well–being. Guard our lips from inflammatory rhetoric that produces much heat, but little light. Cleanse us from bigotry and self–centeredness in the pursuit of our own narrow interests in the public arena. Your Word teaches that the long–term security of all depends on the strength of each. Strengthen our resolve that we may exercise our precious votes for what is right, not just for what is personally advantageous.

Show us how to carry out your will in the public arena, that we may respectfully and intelligently develop opportunities of liberty and justice for all. Purify our hearts and minds, that we may learn to renounce exploitation and prejudice in all its forms, and so contribute to the well–being of the community in which we live. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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