Pastor Joel Wight Hoogheem of St. Philip's Lutheran Church in Fridley served as chaplain at the Minnesota House of Representatives on Thursday.
Excerpts from his introductory remarks and prayer:
On behalf of the people of St. Philip's Lutheran Church in Fridley, thank you for your work on behalf of the people of Minnesota. Please know that we pray for you often. And now, let us pray.
We pause before you, Almighty God, to reflect on what lies in front of us today. Thank you for the freedom you have given us to establish our own government. ...
Thank you for leading them to the tasks before them, many of which are thankless, many of which may be frustrating, but all of which are important to working out what is best for your people.
Help us who have elected the members of this House to bear our share of the burden of democratic government. Make us love peace and fair dealing. Allow us to see situations from the point of view of others that we may discern what is the common good.
It's not the first time this year the person serving as chaplain for the day at the Minnesota Legislature has had a Fridley connection.
On Feb. 4, 2013, Rev. Dodd Lamberton, a Fridley resident and senior pastor at Mount Carmel Lutheran Church in northeast Minneapolis read the prayer to open the Minnesota Senate's session.
In 2011, another guest chaplain, Bradlee Dean, leader of You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International, offered a controversial prayer that prompted a rare do-over of that day's prayer, as ordered by then House Speaker Kurt Zellers. Before Dean delivered his prayer, he told the story of a Fridley businessman who lost his job leading a business he started when the ownership changed hands.