U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar welcomed Rev. Larry Burton as guest chaplain of the U.S. Senate Thursday.
Burton recently retired as senior minister at Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church in Greencastle and University Chaplain at DePauw University.
As guest chaplain, Burton led the Senate in prayer at 9 a.m., which was televised live on CSPAN2 and will be included in the Congressional Record. Lugar brought the Senate to order and presided as the chair.
Burton's wife, Mary Kate Burton, son Anthony Burton and daughter-in-law Marianne Fairbanks observed the prayer from the third-floor Members' Gallery of the Senate Chamber.
Following the prayer and Pledge of Allegiance, Burton and his family visited with Lugar in the Senate Reception Room adjacent to the Senate floor.
Burton and his family also attended a Foreign Relations Committee Hearing on Iraq chaired by Lugar and toured the Capitol Building with Lugar intern Brittany Graves, a senior majoring in conflict studies at DePauw University.
Burton graduated from Indiana University and completed seminary and doctoral work at Boston University. He has a distinguished teaching career at Boston University, Millikin University, Harvard University, and Rush University. He will begin teaching at the University of Arkansas this fall.
He has authored or edited eight books and more than 70 book chapters and articles. Burton also served as president of the Association of Professional Chaplains - the largest inter-faith certifying organization in the country - and as Chairman of the Board of COMISS, an umbrella group for the pastoral care and counseling organizations in the U.S.
Today's prayer concluded a yearlong planning process; Lugar wrote to Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black in June 2005 to recommend Burton as guest chaplain.
Each month, on the recommendation of Senators, the Senate Chaplain invites two clergy members to pray in the Senate as guest chaplains.
The text of Rev. Burton's prayer follows:
Let us pray,
"O Thou great Creator, God of all the nations: We bow before you knowing that these gathered here today have the power to choose right over wrong, good over evil. Bless each one of them that they might choose according to Your will.
"Open their ears so that they may truly listen to one another. Open their eyes so that they may truly see the path of righteousness. Open their mouths that they may speak truly with the deepest integrity. Open their hearts and minds that they may discern the way that leads to the common good.
"O Spirit of Power, grant that the only ambition in this Chamber may be the desire to achieve peace and prosperity for all Americans. Grant that the only competition may be the struggle for justice. O Thou great Creator, God of all the nations, lead this great nation as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, until the day comes when all nations shall dwell together in peace and concord. Amen."