- The Washington Times - Monday, October 12, 2009

President Obama and his family attended Sunday services at St. John’s Episcopal Church, on Lafayette Square, a block from the White House.

Mr. Obama, first lady Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia listened to a sermon about how Christianity has consequences.

Mike Angell, a seminarian of the church, told the parishioners that the consequences vary, whether it’s making a hard decision at work or deciding to give more time to God.

Mr. Angell told the worshippers they don’t face these consequences alone. “We are given each other as a source of boldness,” he said.

The Obamas shook hands with those around them as the parishioners were told to show each other a sign of peace. The worshippers prayed for all people, including “Barack, our president, the leaders of Congress, the Supreme Court and all who are in authority.”

The family took a quick ride to the services, but opted to stroll back together to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Mr. Obama, who also worshipped at the pale yellow church on Easter Sunday and on Inauguration Day, hasn’t settled on a new permanent congregation for the first family since they came to Washington.

St. John’s is a popular pick for presidents - both because it’s near the White House and because it’s familiar to the Secret Service.

Pew 54, nine rows back from the altar, carries a small brass plaque designating it as “the President’s Pew.” Former President George W. Bush often attended services, and church history claims that every president since James Madison, the nation’s fourth chief executive, has visited.

The first service in the landmark church was held in 1816. The parish was organized in 1814, and the church was designed by architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe in 1815.

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