Watch for yourself, as “guest chaplain” — and ordained minister — Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo) offers the opening prayer this Sunday, the opening day of the 117th Congress.
Worth noting: Congressman Cleaver has delivered the opening prayer before (though it’s unclear if he’s ever concluded a prayer that way) and has hosted the National Prayer Breakfast.
From his biography:
In Congress, Cleaver has led the efforts to bring civility to the House of Representatives. He has been nationally recognized for being a champion of civility and bipartisanship. His experience and knowledge have been called upon through his service as Co-Chair of the National Prayer Breakfast and is the Past Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
His skills were honed by first serving for three terms on the City Council of Kansas City, Missouri. Cleaver was elected as the City’s first African American Mayor in 1991.
During two terms as Mayor, he distinguished himself as an economic development and job creation expert. He and the City Council brought a number of major corporations to the City, including Harley Davidson, Citi Corp, and TransAmerica.
Also during his tenure as Mayor, he focused on local businesses and worked on significant job-creating efforts.
The Congressman and his wife, Dianne, along with their four children and five grandchildren, have lived in Kansas City for more than forty years. For thirty-seven of those years, he served as the Senior Pastor at St. James United Methodist Church, a post which one of their sons now holds.
Cleaver has received five honorary Doctoral Degrees in addition to his Bachelor’s degree from Prairie View A&M, and a Master’s from the St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City.
Someone with his theological background should know better.
For those who are curious, the definition:
Amen (Hebrew: אָמֵן, ‘ʾāmēn’; Greek: ἀμήν, ‘amín’; Arabic: آمین, ‘āmīna’; Aramaic/Syriac: ܐܵܡܝܼܢ, ‘ʾāmīn’) is an Abrahamic declaration of affirmation, first found in the Hebrew Bible, and subsequently in the New Testament. It is used in Jewish, Christian and Islamic worship, as a concluding word, or as a response to a prayer. Common English translations of the word amen include “verily”, “truly”, and “so be it”. It is also used colloquially, to express strong agreement.
In sum: it has nothing to do with gender. At all.