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Tanya J. Tyler

Tanya J. Tyler

Tanya J. Tyler is a Disciples of Christ pastor in Kentucky. She works for the Lexington Herald Leader and is a contributing writer for DisciplesWorld. She is part of the Bluegrass Moms blog, and took a bus trip to DC for the inauguration.

Among the sights and sounds: an unexpectedly moving trip to the Vietnam War Memorial, the crowded Metro, high-fiving strangers, almost throwing up on a woman’s fur coat (not a PETA statement), and conversations about super powers and port-a-potties.

Tyler concludes:

I have waited so long for this day … I don’t want it to be over. And if we listen to our new president’s message and get out and work together to make this country everything it can and should be, it won’t be over. Ever.

Read her full blog entry here.

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Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins

Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins

If you missed Disciples’ General Minister and President Sharon Watkins’ sermon at the inaugural service at the National Cathedral, here’s where you can download the text version. I haven’t checked for video clips yet – if you come across any, let me know.

Also, if you’re looking for the scripture text read by Cynthia Hale, you can download the full program (including all the prayers, hymns, and scripture texts) from the National Cathedral’s website.

UPDATE: I found a link to video…Danny Bradfield has a link to C-SPAN’s website on his blog. You can watch video of the service here.

UPDATE #2: Videos (in 2 parts on YouTube) – Part 1 and Part 2. The first cuts off a bit of the beginning but starts with the Cherokee story of the 2 wolves. (Thanks, Eduardo, for letting us know about this)

Actor Stephen Baldwin

Actor Stephen Baldwin

An update from Verity Jones, DisciplesWorld editor and publisher, who is in DC for the inauguration:

I’m leaving for the Western States Inaugural Ball in a few minutes, but I wanted to post an update on the day’s events.  It was simply amazing to be in that crowd of 1.8 million people witnessing and celebrating this historic event.  The feeling was electric, positive. The crowd was as polite and excited as I’ve ever seen.

My seat gave me a view of the stage on the steps of the Capitol, even thought it was partially obscured by a tree!  I was able to move forward for President Obama’s speech and got some nice photos.  Sharon Watkins and Rick Lowery had equally wonderful seats.  They even spent the morning before the inauguration with the Obama family in the traditional pre-inaugural prayer service.  We’ll have to find out from them what that was like!

Stars, stars, everywhere.  For this little Okie from Muskogee, it was kind of thrilling, though not as thrilling as the main event, of course!  But I saw Bruce Springsteen and Stephen Baldwin and some other actors whose names I can’t remember … yet.  Actress Ellen Burstyn was in my row!  Such fun.  Wesley Clark passed me at one point. And Supreme Court Justice John Roberts’ family sat in front of me.  Were they embarrassed by his flub up?  I couldn’t tell!  And of course I could see Rick Warren and Aretha Franklin and Rev. Joseph Lowery from my seat.  And the poem was wonderful, too.  What an honor it was to be there.  Photos will come soon.

Tomorrow is the reason I came to D.C.  The national prayer service starts at 10:00 am.  I am looking forward to hearing our General Minister and President wow President Obama and all the nation!  Yeah Disciples!

Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson

Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson

Controversy has been brewing since gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson’s invocation on Sunday prior to the We Are One concert was left out of HBO’s broadcast of inaugural events. According to reports, HBO pointed the finger at the Presidential Inauguration Committee (PIC), saying the committee made the decision that Robinson’s prayer was “pre-show” material. The PIC has apologized.

Sarah Pulliam, at Christianity Today’s politics blog, reports that Robinson’s prayer will be rebroadcast on the mall. For those of you (like me) who aren’t in D.C. and for those who didn’t have HBO to begin with, Pulliam recorded it on video and transcribed it.It was also on YouTube, although several commenters on Pulliam’s blog said it was taken down, then later put back up.

There was some pre-prayer consternation over whether Bishop Robinson would invoke the name of Jesus in his prayer (he said in an interview with the Concord (NH) Monitor that he wouldn’t use the Bible and that the prayer wouldn’t be especially Christian). Reading and hearing the prayer, any fuss was unfounded. It’s theologically sound and appropriate, offered to “God of our many understandings.” [Did anyone really think he’d pray to the purple Tele-Tubby?!?]

Some bloggers and commenters are angry about the slight of Robinson, wondering if it was intentional on the part of Obama’s people. I don’t think it was (that’s my uninformed opinion, of course) but I understand how the GLBT community would be sensitive to the handling of Robinson. It’s unfortunate how things turned out.

Joan Walsh, on her Salon.com blog, reports that the PIC released a statement:

We had always intended and planned for Rt. Rev. Robinson’s invocation to be included in the televised portion of yesterday’s program. We regret the error in executing this plan – but are gratified that hundreds of thousands of people who gathered on the mall heard his eloquent prayer for our nation that was a fitting start to our event.

Robinson writes about the experience (and lots of other inaugural happenings) on his own blog. Reading it, I was moved and inspired by his humility. And, as he reports on his blog, he’s been invited to be on the Presidential Platform today.

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