The Capitol was full of excitement this week as statewide elected officials and legislators were sworn into office and got to work. Governor Gavin Newsom began inauguration day Monday, January 7, 2019 with a closed-door interfaith service at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Sacramento. Faith leaders from around the state- and across faith traditions- offered prayers for Gov. Newsom and first partner Jennifer Siebel. The service culminated with the a rousing sermonette by Rev. Dr. Amos Brown of Third Baptist Church, and president of the San Francisco Chapter of the NAACP, during which some 40 interfaith clergy were invited to stand together and invest the First Family with the prayers and support of the statewide family of faith. The San Francisco Interfaith Council hosted the service. At noon, Newsom was sworn in as the 40th Governor of the State of California in a ceremony on the West Steps of the Capitol complete with gospel choir.
The Legislature also began the 2019-2020 session with an interfaith service. The Roman Catholic Diocesan Ecumenical and Inter-religious Commission sponsored an open service for Assembly and Senate members and their staffs at 8 a.m. on Thursday, January 10th inside the lower level of the Capitol Rotunda. Emceed by Senate Chaplain Sr. Michelle Gorman, the 40-minute service began with patriotic rendition of God Bless America and featured prayers from 11 faith leaders representing various aspects of the capitol community, including ELCA Pastor Scot Sorensen, Vice President of the Interfaith Council of Greater Sacramento.