Time Magazine asks "What Church Will President Obama Attend." Amy Sullivan talked to a number of people who know the religious world ... in Washington and solicited their church recommendations:
At least two people thought that since home churches are a growing trend, you might want to start your own in the White House. A "Church of the Obamas," however, might just fuel the messianic talk. But I think you'll find some good options here, including a couple of intriguing — dare I say maverick — possibilities.
Diana Butler Bass, like a good church member reaching out to new neighbors, offers one possibility to the First Family:
If you're interested in branching out to an Episcopal church, Diana Butler Bass, author of five books on American Protestantism and an adjunct professor at Virginia Theological Seminary, invites you to try hers.
"Epiphany is a downtown Episcopal church with a congregation that is fifty-fifty white and black," she says, "and it has a full spectrum of social class diversity as well as a long history in Washington." Indeed, several members of Lincoln's Cabinet belonged to Epiphany, and it was also very active in supporting the civil rights movement in the 1960s. "It would be an interesting choice that appears to resonate with the new First
Family's politics and theology," says Bass. "Plus, my 11-year-old daughter wants Malia in her Sunday school class."
Read about all the choices here.
More on the President-elect and his family's choice of churches here. Many papers, today are carrying the discussion of what church the First Family should attend:
Churches in the nation's capital have started extending invitations to President-elect Barack Obama and his family, touting their African-American roots, their ties to presidents past and to Obama himself.Addendum. The Daily Voice ("Black America's Daily News Source") also has a story the Obamas' church choice.
The choices are abundant. Numerous, thriving congregations are an easy walk from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Just across Lafayette Square from the White House is St. John's Church, an Episcopal parish known as the "Church of the Presidents," where presidents as far back as James Madison have worshipped. St. John's has a standing invitation: Pew 54 is the President's Pew, reserved for the nation's leader.
Or he could choose, as many presidents have done, not to attend services at all. President George W. Bush, for instance, has only infrequently attended services in Washington, occasionally going to St. John's.