Today President Obama welcomed a room full, an East Room full, to be exact, of Christian leaders for an Easter Prayer Breakfast.
The tradition began last year, when President Obama hosted the very first breakfast of this kind at the White House.
"I'm going to make it annual, why not?" Obama said, smiling. "The Easter Egg Roll, that's well established."
The President welcomed the faith leaders saying some have been extraordinary influences in his life.
And they have. Several members of his previous and current Faith Baised Council were in attendance, including Pastor Joel Hunter, who regularly sends Obama scripture in emails to the presidential blackberry.
Here is an excerpt of the President's remarks today:
"I wanted to host this breakfast for a simple reason -– because as busy as we are, as many tasks as pile up, during this season, we are reminded that there’s something about the resurrection -- something about the resurrection of our savior, Jesus Christ, that puts everything else in perspective.
We all live in the hustle and bustle of our work. And everybody in this room has weighty responsibilities, from leading churches and denominations, to helping to administer important government programs, to shaping our culture in various ways. And I admit that my plate has been full as well. (Laughter.) The inbox keeps on accumulating. (Laughter.)
But then comes Holy Week. The triumph of Palm Sunday. The humility of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. His slow march up that hill, and the pain and the scorn and the shame of the cross.
And we’re reminded that in that moment, he took on the sins of the world -- past, present, and future -- and he extended to us that unfathomable gift of grace and salvation through his death and resurrection."
You can watch the President's full remarks here:
And a list of some of the attendees:
- Congressman Mike McIntyre
- USAID Administrator Dr. Raj Shah
- Bill Daley, Chief of Staff
- Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor
- Melody Barnes, Director, Domestic Policy Council
- Dr. Leith Anderson, President National Association of Evangelicals
- Elder Nancy Wilson, Metropolitan Community Church
- Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook, designee, Ambassador At Large for International Religious Freedom
- Rev. Cynthia Hale, Ray of Hope Community Church
- Mark Batterson, Lead Pastor, National Community Church
- Pastor Andy Stanley, North Point Community Church, Georgia
- Archbishop Demetrios, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
- Pastor Joel Hunter, Northland Church, Longwood, Fla.
- Ken Hackett, President, Catholic Relief Services
- Sister Carol Keehan, CEO, Catholic Health Association
- Bishop Mark Hanson, Presideing Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
- Bishop T.D. Jakes, Senior Pastor, The Potter's House
- Pastor Tim Keller, Senior Pastor, Redeemer Presbyterian
- Rev. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
- Denis McDonough, Deputy National Security Advisor
- Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
- Pastor Louie Giglio, Passion City Church, Georgia