TO THE NEW CONGRESS & PRESIDENT, FAITH LEADERS AND ALL AMERICANS:
With the beginning of the 113th Congress and President Obama’s second inauguration, the start of the New Year was the optimal moment to reflect and prayer for a better future. The Call to Prayer for Our Nation’s Leaders, which took place from January 3-21, 2013, brought together faith leaders from across the political spectrum to pray for our country and, in particular, to pray for greater respect and civility in our nation’s political discourse.
This Call to Prayer was part of a larger effort from the Faith and Politics Institute to improve the tone of political discussion and promote civility in public life. Last summer, we launched a program entitled “Faith, Politics and Our Better Angels: A Christian Dialogue on Public Discourse” which brought together twenty church leaders from very different backgrounds and points of view. That initial program has given birth to an ongoing effort to encourage faith leaders to model civility and encourage respectful dialogue on our nation’s most divisive issues.
The response to our Call to Prayer was quite positive and we had agreements to participate from more than 140 faith leaders across the country. People from many different Christian denominations committed to pray daily from January 3-21 including Methodists, Lutherans, Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, Southern Baptists, Disciples of Christ and Presbyterians. We also had representatives from a theologically and politically diverse group of organizations take part such as the Knight of Columbus, the Minnesota Council of Churches, the Family Research Council, New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, the South Carolina Christian Action Council and Concerned Women for America. Involvement in the prayers extended even beyond church communities as Jewish, Muslim and Sikh representatives also committed to pray for greater civility between our nation’s leaders.