The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Reverend Eric W. Jorgensen

St. Stephen's Reformed Episcopal Church
Eldersburg, MD

Sponsor: Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, (R-MD)
Date of Prayer: 10/31/2007

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

(Mr. BARTLETT of Maryland asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.)

Mr. BARTLETT of Maryland. Madam Speaker, I want to thank one of my constituents, Pastor Eric W. Jorgensen of St. Stephen's Reformed Episcopal Church in Eldersburg, Maryland, for serving as a guest chaplain of the House of Representatives and providing us a beautiful prayer before we begin our work.

This is a tradition begun by Benjamin Franklin that has been followed ever since by the House of Representatives and the Senate. Benjamin Franklin, then 82 years of age, rose during a moment of crisis during our Constitutional Convention. This is part of what he said: ‘‘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. 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 without his notice, can a Nation rise without his aid?

‘‘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 begin to proceed to any other business.''

Thank you, Mr. Franklin, for this precedent. Thank you, Pastor Jorgensen, for helping to continue this great tradition.

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

Almighty God, who has given us this good land for our heritage; we humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favor. Bless these representatives who faithfully serve the citizens of this nation. Grant them a solemn sense of responsibility before God and their fellow man. Care for their loved ones in need while they labor in this house. Help them to stand firm in conviction where warranted and grant the ability to come to consensus when needed.

We ask the same for other government branches and for your mercy upon those who defend our national life and liberty.

Make us all strong and great in the fear of God and in love of righteousness that blessed of Thee we may be a blessing to all people.

Grant this is by the authority of Him who was and is and is to come, Amen.

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