Will Progressive Churches Pray for President-Elect Donald Trump?

The historic New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, located in Washington, D.C. | (Photo: Courtesy of Rev. Beth Braxton)

For the first time in eight years, progressive congregations throughout the United States will find themselves under a president who is opposed to many of their views.

One congregation in California, All Saints Episcopal Church of Pasadena, garnered national headlines earlier this month for its refusal to pray for President Donald Trump by name.

"We are in a unique situation in my lifetime where we have a president elect whose name is literally a trauma trigger to some people," said All Saints Church Rector Mike Kinman, as report by local media outlet Pasadena Now.

"Whereas before we prayed for 'Barack, our president,' we are now praying for 'our president, our president elect, and all others in authority.' This practice will continue for at least the near future."

Other theologically progressive congregations may not take such a step, but rather will focus on praying that Trump will turn away from the controversial rhetoric and proposals from the campaign season.

The Rev. Alice Rose Tewell, associate pastor at The New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., told The Christian Post that her congregation will "pray for our political leaders from all backgrounds during our worship service."

Tewell made no mention of any policy of censoring Trump's name, instead citing 1st Timothy 2:1-2, "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity."

"We have and we will continue to pray that our next president would act on with justice and mercy for each person throughout our nation and the world," said Tewell.

US President-elect Donald Trump will be sworn to office on Jan. 20. | REUTERS/Eric Thayer

"We pray that our next president will turn from the rhetoric of his campaign and instead stand up for the rights of the immigrant and refugee, the rights of women and children, the rights of people of color, the rights of those who live with disabilities, the rights of the LGBTQ community, for the rights of those living without homes or in unstable conditions, and for all who are lack enough opportunity, chances at a good education, and healthcare."

Tewell added that on Sunday her church prayed for, among other things, a peaceful transition of power on Inauguration Day and all political leaders including ones they "deeply disagree with."

A similar sentiment was offered by the Rev. Stephen Chapin Garner, senior minister at The Congregational Church of New Canaan, Connecticut.

In an interview with CP, Garner noted that his church is "a politically diverse congregation that cares deeply about our country and all who lead us, regardless of party affiliation."

"We will always pray for our presidents, that, whoever they may be, they might be encouraged and inspired to be the most faithful and just human being and president they can possibly be," said Garner.

"President-elect Trump will be offered those same prayers throughout his presidency, and we will judge his actions and leadership through the lens of Scripture, that calls us all to truth, love, justice, and forgiveness for all God's people."

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