The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Reverend Thomas A. Rhodes

Mount Olive Lutheran Church
Folson, CA

Sponsor: Rep. Dan Lungren, (R-CA)
Date of Prayer: 06/19/2008

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Without objection, the gentleman from California (Mr. Daniel E. Lungren) is recognized for 1 minute.

There was no objection.

Mr. DANIEL E. LUNGREN. Madam Speaker, today Pastor Tom Rhodes visits our Chamber from Folsom, California, where he is the pastor of Mount Olive Lutheran Church. He makes this journey with his son, Matt, less than a week after Father's Day as a reward for Matt's graduation from high school in Folsom.

Part of the purpose of their trip is to expose Matt to the history and tradition of American civic dedication, since Matt is interested in public service. One thing they will see as they visit the halls of Congress and the battlefields of the Civil War is that there is no shortage of ways and opportunities to serve one's country. And that is what we find in Matt's father, Pastor Tom. He told us that the opportunity to stand here today as our guest chaplain would show his son that ‘‘service to our country takes on a variety of forms.''

But Pastor Tom's prayer for us this morning, like the prayers his congregation in Folsom regularly offer, isn't the only place we see this evidence; it is in his lifetime of service to God and country. Besides serving as the Pastor of Mount Olive, Pastor Tom has held a variety of ministry positions in church, including pastor, elder, librarian, Sunday school teacher and committee chair.

Outside of church, he has been a member of the local PTAs, on the Board of Directors for the Twin Lakes Food Bank, a narrator for the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library, and a part of the Civil Air Patrol for 3 years.

We are glad to have you here with us today, Pastor Tom. Thank you for your continued prayers and service to your community and country. And Matt, congratulations on your recent graduation and good luck in your future endeavors.

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

We call on You, Heavenly Father, from this historic chamber today, asking Your wisdom and guidance be with these women and men who serve with honor and diligence, this courageous nation of those "yearning to breathe free." Grant Your gracious protection and tender care to them, their staffs and families.

Lord, grant also Your safety for those who stand and protect us and preserve the cause of liberty as they serve in our country's Armed Forces. May they and their families be under Your constant, watchful and loving eye.

Father, the Statue of Liberty arrived on our shores this day in 1885. She stands as a beacon of liberty and hope for this nation and the world. In the same the way, the cross of Your Son Jesus Christ stands to remind us of the liberty He won, for all who call on His name, as we do now, amen.

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