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WELCOMING THE GUEST CHAPLAIN
(Senate - April 25, 2013)

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[Pages S2981-S2982]
                      WELCOMING THE GUEST CHAPLAIN

  Ms. WARREN. Mr. President, thank you.
  Every April a large blue-and-gold banner flies above the entryway at 
Old South Church, with words from Isaiah: ``May you run and not grow 
weary, walk and not faint.'' Old South Church sits on the finish line 
for the Boston Marathon, a distinguished and historical spot that has 
earned its name, ``Church of the Finish Line.''
  Today I welcome Rev. John Edgerton of Old South Church, the Church of 
the Finish Line, and thank him for coming here to share his faith, 
resilience, and fortitude.
  Less than 2 weeks ago, on the Sunday before the marathon, Old South 
Church welcomed athletes, friends, families, supporters, and marathon 
volunteers into the church for the annual premarathon ``Blessing of the 
Athletes.''
  On Marathon Monday, just after 12 p.m., the bells of Old South Church 
rang in the men's winner of the Boston Marathon, Lelisa Desisa Benti, 
as he crossed the finish line.
  Later that day two blasts from hidden bombs rocked the crowded final 
stretch on the Boston Marathon. One explosion occurred mere feet from 
the front of the church. In an instant, Old South Church, the marathon 
church, the Church of the Finish Line, joined the rest of Boston in 
helping, comforting, and praying.
  The Old South Church was first gathered in 1669 by a group of 
colonists who wanted to create a more inclusive and welcoming 
congregation. Since then, it has played an integral role in Boston's 
history. Meetings that led to the Boston Tea Party were held at the 
church, and in the 19th century church members were active in the 
abolitionist movement.
  Although Old South Church was closed for more than a week following 
the explosion, its ministry remained

[[Page S2982]]

open. This past Sunday I attended an interfaith service, jointly 
performed by Old South Church and other local religious institutions, 
at the corner of Boylston and Berkeley Streets, a few blocks from the 
site of the bombing. I stood with hundreds of worshipers from a variety 
of faiths in downtown Boston, praying, signing, remembering. This 
perseverance and dedication to faith and community is why Boston has 
not grown weary; it is why Boston has not fainted; it is why Boston is 
strong.
  Reverend Edgerton, thank you for the blessing you brought to the 
Senate today. I join you in praying for our hometown and for our Nation 
as we face the challenges ahead. The qualities you and your church 
exemplify, the spirit of openness and inclusiveness, the power of 
healing and prayer, and the strength of community are what will bring 
Boston through these difficult times. I am honored that you joined us 
today.
  I yield the floor.

                          ____________________




    

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