The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Reverend John Matthews

Grace Lutheran Church
Apple Valley, MN

Sponsor: Rep. Rep. Angie Craig, (D-MN)
Date of Prayer: 10/26/2023

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Ms. CRAIG. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to welcome our guest chaplain, Reverend John Matthews. I thank Reverend Matthews for that beautiful and hopeful prayer at the conclusion of a tumultuous time in this Chamber.
Reverend Matthews has served as a United States Army chaplain and as a police chaplain. He has been a pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Moorhead, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Brooklyn Park, and Memorial Lutheran Church in Afton. Finally, he has pastored over me and my family at Grace Lutheran Church in Apple Valley.
John built bridges across religions during his career, as well as assisting in the drafting of "A Declaration of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to the Jewish Community," which is now part of the permanent display on anti–Semitism at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
It is my honor to represent Reverend Matthews and his family, and I thank him for his contributions to our community.

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

God of all peoples, we are living on land once inhabited by the Pamunkey, the Dakota Sioux, the Ojibwa, the Anishinabe, the Lenni–Lenape, the Rappahannock. May the sacred memory of them humble us and the spirit of their ancestors inspire us as together we strive for peace, justice, and reconciliation in our day.
God of all nations, You have made each of us in Your image. Empower us to see Your face in the face of every other person here, at, and beyond our borders.
Inspire us to live beyond mere tolerance and rather in deeper awe to celebrate the beauty of Your whole human family. Help us to see the beauty of skin color, the complexity of gender, the richness of ethnicity, and the blessedness of religiosity in others, those who are different than us.
God of this day and place, empower the Members of this legislative assembly, as with the Senators next door and our President and Cabinet, to employ all of their wisdom and courage together to responsibly care for our planet and protect all of Your precious people, remembering especially the less fortunate and the most vulnerable.
May Your vision for this world, O God, forever be the goal of our lives and vocations.
Finally and timely, we invoke Your healing presence to surround the families of those harmed or killed in yesterday's tragic shooting in Maine. Inspire us to nurture communities where hatred and violence find no home.
In Your blessed name we ask and pray these things.  Amen.

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