rev. adam hamilton

President Obama Mourns Kansas Tragedy: 'We're All Children of God'

President Obama on Monday at his annual Easter Prayer Breakfast. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks.

President Obama on Monday called for people of all faiths to deter gun violence and anti-Semitism, one day after a gunman killed three people at Jewish centers in suburban Kansas City.

“That this occurred now — as Jews were preparing to celebrate Passover, as Christians were observing Palm Sunday — makes this tragedy all the more painful,” the president said at his annual Easter Prayer Breakfast.

The president noted that synagogues and Jewish community centers are now taking precautions by adding security measures.

Preachers Pray for Unity at National Cathedral Inaugural Service

RNS photo by Donovan Marks/courtesy Washington National Cathedral.

The Obamas and Bidens at the Inaugural Prayer Service. RNS photo by Donovan Marks/courtesy Washington National Cathedral.

WASHINGTON — President Obama started his second term with a traditional worship service and a challenge to help heal the nation’s divides.

“We find ourselves desperately longing to find common ground, to find a common vision, to be one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for everyone,” said the Rev. Adam Hamilton, the Kansas City pastor chosen to preach Tuesday at the National Prayer Service at Washington National Cathedral. “In this city and in this room, are the people who can help.”

The inaugural service carried that theme for more than an hour, presenting the nation’s rainbow of faiths and cultures with a bilingual welcome and reading from the Gospel of Matthew, and an imam and Christian and Jewish cantors taking turns calling the congregation to prayer.

The service of petitions and patriotism included a Sikh woman calling for “concern for our neighbors” and a Catholic layman urging a remembrance of Americans’ interdependence. The red, white, and blue theme extended to the altar flowers and a worshipper’s flag-festooned headscarf.