This Christmas season I invite you to experience the Holiday here in Washington in an unusual way. You may have heard that Faith and Action sponsors the only annual Live Nativity on Capitol Hill including actors in period costume playing Mary, Joseph, and the Baby Jesus, shepherds, and even a real camel and a real donkey! The procession, which begins at our ministry center just behind the Supreme Court and continues along Constitution Avenue to the East Lawn of the Capitol, brings alive the story of the first Christmas at Bethlehem. You are welcome to join us anywhere along our route at any time your schedule allows. Here are the details:
The Live Nativity on Capitol Hill
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Opening ceremony 10:00 – 10:15
109 2nd St, NE, Washington, DC 20002 (Just behind Supreme Court near corner of A St, NE)
Procession will make it’s way north on 2nd St, toward Constitution, turn left or west, and proceed past Hart and Dirksen, turn left or south, on First St, to front of Supreme Court and across the street to East Promenade of the Capitol, holding there from approximately 10:30 to 10:45, it will then return along the same path to 109 2nd St for 11:00 closing ceremony.
To join with us or volunteer you may call our office – chief of program, Peggy Nienaber, on her mobile phone, 202-236-0953. office 202-546-8329.
Just two days away! This Tuesday, October 29th at 10 am, we are holding a formal re-dedication ceremony for our Ten Commandments sculpture on Capitol Hill. We’ve got quite a few planning to attend as RSVPs from pastors, media, friends and visitors are coming in from all over. We’d love for you to consider making a trip to DC to join us for a very special time of prayer and fellowship. Please invite your friends – everyone is welcome. We’ll be right in front of our building, Faith and Action (109 2nd Street NE, Washington, DC 20002) on Tuesday, October 29th at 11:00am. Please invite your friends — everyone is welcome to celebrate this wonderful occasion! “Hallelujah! Happy are they who fear the Lord and have great delight in his commandments!” (Psalm 112:1) Pray that God would infect this event and the very place where these Ten Commandments are being re-dedicated with His grace, especially with us as we minister in the US Supreme Court, the US Congress, and the White House.
The Ten Commandments monument in front of Faith and Action’s ministry center will once again be seen by the justices of the US Supreme Court every time they enter and exit their building across the street! Accountants for our ministry notified Rev. Rob Schenck, president and lead missionary, that the fundraising goal of $10,000 has been well exceeded and the repair work can get underway as soon as possible.
Rev. Rob Schenck talks to you about why he is going away to pray and fast for President Obama, the members of Congress, our Supreme Court justices–and for YOU!
Faith and Action president and lead missionary Rev. Rob Schenck has often said this ministry’s greatest asset is the circle of supporters that sustains it. Thousands of generous friends from around the country and from as far away as the United Kingdom and the Philippines each year make donations so that Faith and Action can continue to proclaim and model the Gospel among top U.S. Government leaders in Washington, DC.
“I can’t ever adequately say in words how grateful I am, and how thankful every one of our team members is, for each and every financial supporter of our ministry,” Rob said. “We don’t take anyone for granted. We know times are tough economically and people give sacrificially to keep this ministry moving forward. I also know there’s plenty of competition, ministries much larger and more well-known than ours, and so I appreciate all the more when individuals, families, churches, and even other ministries take us on for regular missionary support. We are deeply grateful to God for each one of our supporters. One way I can give something back is to pray for everybody, individually, by name.”
Rev. Schenck will comb through pages of names during his three days of fasting, announcing out loud each one as he intercedes for individuals, families, churches, and organizations that support Faith and Action financially.
“This is the way the Lord provides for us,” Rob continued. “The money to pay our team members, to buy supplies, to stage events, to maintain our buildings, all comes from the hands of those who share our passion for taking the Good News of salvation and biblical truth to those at the highest levels of power and influence in our country and, by extension, to other countries of the world. That’s no small thing. So, while I’m praying for our supporters, I’ll also be thanking God for each one, by name, of course.”
Specific prayer requests will be forwarded to Rev. Schenck while he’s away on his retreat. You can e-mail requests to him directly and confidentially at firstname.lastname@example.org, or post requests publicly so others can join you in prayer as well at https://www.facebook.com/PrayerRetreat.
Sometimes small things are big things–and that was certainly the case on the National Day of Prayer at the US Supreme Court. For the fourth year in a row, I took a small group of ministers over to the High Court to conduct a National Day of Prayer observance. The group’s size was by design: We had “cut a deal” with the Court (so-to-speak). I’ll explain:
Several years ago, after my friend and colleague, Rev. Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, was arrested and prosecuted for kneeling to pray on the steps of the Court, I decided enough-is-enough with the Court’s long-standing “no prayer zone.” After all, it wasn’t just public displays of prayer (which they explained as an illegal form of “demonstration”) that brought summary judgement–but even silent non-demonstrable prayer. In other words, not so many years ago, you could be arrested–or at least ejected from the Court building–simply for bowing your head in silent prayer! Well, with help from the American Center for Law and Justice, Pat and I approached the Court–and, through a complicated process–arrived at an understanding: So long as our group is small, we don’t command a lot of public attention, and we don’t tip off the media to what we’re doing–there will essentially be no problem with our prayer services on the National Day of Prayer.
So, once again, our delegation of pastors and ministry leaders formed a horseshoe under one of the flag poles on the Court’s celebrated and marbled plaza to conduct a prayer service for the Court and for our country. Below is the “liturgy” or written service we used. (That’s another part of our strategy: doing it in writing so that every word is documented.) Some of the prayers and statements are adapted from the historic Book of Common Prayer, others I wrote especially for this service.
I hope you’ll pray these prayers with me. As I pointed out yesterday at another National Day of Prayer event at the Capitol, prayers have no expiration dates–no “shelf-life.” Prayers go on into eternity–or until God sees fit to fully answer them in His own time.
Thanks for your support in all we do here as your missionaries to elected and appointed officials!
Daybreak Prayer on the National Day of Prayer
Faith and Action in the Nation’s Capital
109 2nd St, NE, Washington, DC 20002 202-546-8329
www.faithandaction.org Faith & Action on Facebook
A reading from Daniel, Chapter 4, verses 34-35:
“At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored Him who lives forever,
for His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom endures from generation to generation;
all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and He does according to His will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay His hand or say to Him, ‘What have you done?’”
Lord, we pray always that reason will return to our elected and appointed officials and they, too, will praise and honor You; in Jesus’ name, Amen.
The Prayer of the Court
(Together) “God save the United States and this Honorable Court!”
#1 For our Nation
Almighty God, who has given us this great land for our heritage:
We humbly ask You that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Your favor and glad to do Your will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners.
Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought here out of many kindreds and tongues.
Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in Your Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to Your law, we may show forth Your praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in You to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
#2 For the President of the United States and all in Civil Authority
O Lord our Governor, whose glory is in all the world: We commend this nation to Your merciful care, that, being guided by Your Providence, we may dwell secure in Your peace. Grant to the President of the United States, the Governor of the 50 States and of the territories, and to all in authority, wisdom and strength to know and to do Your will. Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness, and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve the American people in Your fear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
# 3 For the President by name
“Lord God Almighty, on this National Day of Prayer we bring before you Barack Obama, President of the United States. Grant to him a desire to know You fully, a humility to acknowledge Your rulership over his life, and an appreciation for Your great gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Enlighten the understanding of our President that he might receive Your wisdom, respect Your laws, and faithfully execute Your will through his public office and in his personal life. Grant our President wisdom, knowledge, insight, and understanding, for they are more profitable than silver and gold; cause him to always and in every way trust ultimately and absolutely in You. Convict our President of sin and of righteousness and turn his heart and mind to You in repentance and in humble obedience. Provide for and protect our President and his family as they look to you alone as their Defender. We commit President Barack Obama into your constant care and keeping, for we ask these things in the mighty name of Jesus; for just and true are Your ways, King of the Nations. Amen.”
#4 For the Congress
O God, the fountain of wisdom, whose will is good and gracious, and whose law is Truth: We ask You to guide and bless our Senators and Representatives in Congress as they assemble across the street, that they may enact such laws as shall please You. We ask that You would, in Your mercy, cause the people of the United States to elect to the Congress those who will hear and obey Your moral will for our American civilization; to the glory of Your Name and the welfare of this nation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
#5 For the Leaders of Congress by name
Holy God, we bring before Your throne the leaders of Congress:
Speaker of the House John Boehner
Majority Leader Eric Cantor
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy
Minority Whip Steney Hoyer
We pray, also, dear Lord, for the leadership of the United States Senate:
President of the Senate Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
President Pro-tempore Patrick J. Leahy
Majority Leader Harry Reid
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin
Minority Whip John Cornyn
And, in a special way, we pray for the two leaders of the US Senate Judiciary Committee, charged with vetting nominees to this and other federal courts, Chairman Leahey and Ranking member Chuck Grassley.
# 7 The leadership of the Congress
We ask, O Lord, that You will inform the consciences of these leaders, imbue them with a desire to know and to obey Your will; Grant to them favor only as they do so. We ask these things in the Name of Christ, who always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere. Amen.
#8 For Courts of Justice
Almighty God, who sits in the eternal throne judging right: We humbly ask You to guide the courts of justice and the magistrates in all this land; and give to them the spirit of wisdom and understanding, that they may discern the truth, and impartially administer the law in the fear of You alone; through him who shall come to be our Judge, Your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
#9 For the leadership of the federal judiciary
O God, Who judges the earth and inherits the nations: We lay before You in particular all of the judges, justices, magistrates, special masters, and others that serve on the federal bench. We bring before You their clerks and administrators, marshals, and all those that assist in the conduct of the federal judiciary. We name specifically Judge Thomas F. Hogan, director of the Administrative Office and secretary to the Judicial Conference of the United States.
#10 Specific Prayer for the Justices of the Supreme Court
Lord, we bring before you now the nine justices of this court:
Chief Justice of the United States, John G. Roberts, Jr.
Anthony M. Kennedy
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Stephen G. Breyer
Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr.
#11 For the Direction of the Court
We ask, O Lord, that You would draw the Justices close to Yourself; guide them in the way of salvation, holiness, and righteousness. Cause them to do what is just under the Constitution of the United States and in conformity with Your ways that constitute the Highest Law of all. We ask in the Name of the One our Founders called the Supreme Judge of the World, Jesus Christ, Who reigns from Your right hand forever and ever. Amen.
#12 For Sound Government
O Lord our Governor, direct the leaders of our land, that we may be a people at peace among ourselves and a blessing to other nations of the earth. Lord, keep this nation under your care. May the President and members of the Cabinet, governors of States, mayors of cities, and all in administrative authority, learn to fear and obey You. As they do, grant to them wisdom and grace in the exercise of their duties. We ask these things through Christ the Lord. Amen.
Descend to the sidewalk
(Kneeling) The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory,
Forever and ever. Amen.
(Standing) The Pledge of Allegiance—stressing “under God.”
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all
Faith and Action president and lead missionary, the Reverend Dr. Rob Schenck, opened this year’s Marathon by anointing the corners of the famed West Terrace of the US Capitol Building, the same spot where the presidential inaugural platform is constructed each Inauguration Day and the where the newly-elected president swears the oath of office. Dr. Schenck also read the first verse of Genesis in Hebrew and in English. From there, Pastor Hall and others took over reading. Dr. Schenck read again for four straight hours in the middle of the night and in the rain.
“Whether or not people are listening or are even present, it’s important to continue reading,” said Schenck. “It’s the continuous nature of the event that captures attention, which is a good thing not only because members of Congress and the people that work for them start talking about the Bible, but also because reading like this is an exercise of our First Amendment rights. Our constitutional rights are like muscles, if you don’t use them, you’ll lose them. It’s important that we defend and preserve these rights by publicly acting on them in sometimes dramatic ways, and the annual marathon is dramatic in its own way.”
The Marathon will continue through Thursday, May 2, the National Day of Prayer, when it will close with a special ceremony on a stage erected on the West Lawn of the Capitol. The public is encouraged to attend. Readers are also still needed. For more information see http://www.dcbiblemarathon.org or write to email@example.com.
A unique outreach in Washington, DC, the US Capitol Bible Reading Marathon brings together members of congress, civic and religious leaders, and people of faith from across the nation to read aloud the entirety of the Bible on the West Lawn of the US Capitol. Each May, this celebration of God’s word begins on a Sunday evening and culminates on the National Day of Prayer.
As the sound of Holy Scripture reverberates around the Capitol Building, this powerful witness rests on the promise that God’s Word does not return to him void but accomplishes the purpose for which He sent it.
This year the Bible Reading Marathon runs from Sunday, April 28 at 6:00 PM until Thursday, May 2nd at 12:30 PM. For more information about the US Capitol Bible Reading Marathon, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Plan now to join us for one of these events between April 28 and May 2
Sunday evening, April 28: OPENING CEREMONY - Join an intimate group on the famous West Steps of the US Capitol, 6:00pm, to dedicate the terrace platform where the Bible will be read, out loud, with no interruption or commentary for four and half days. You’ll be part of a consecration service when we pray together that all within range of our voice, and worldwide over the Internet, will have ears to hear the glorious message of God’s plan for humankind, from Genesis to Revelation. We’ll anoint the stone plaza where the Bible-shaped podium will stand as a visible witness, while scores of volunteers read Holy Scripture as an audible witness, to the timeless truths of Scripture!
Sunday night, April 28 through Thursday afternoon, May 2: Sign up to come and read a long or short passage from the Bible. You don’t need to be a preacher, professional announcer, or even have a great oratorical voice–just bring your heart and passion for God’s Word! Read for as long or as briefly as you like. We especially need night-time readers when it’s quiet, dark, and there are not many onlookers–so it’s a great time for the more shy among us! To read or participate please email, email@example.com.
Thursday, May 2 at 12:30PM: Attend the grand finale–the CLOSING CEREMONIES–of the Marathon. There will be special music, an unforgettable bell choir, and a collective reading of the last few verses of the Book of Revelation. We will then end with all of us singing in unison, ”GOD BLESS AMERICA.”