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Rev. Schenck Delivers Invocation at Hispanic Gala

Immigration Controversy Factors Large at Gathering of Business Leaders


Contact: Dane Rose, National Clergy Council, 202-546-8329 ext 106, 703-447-1072 cell


WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 /Christian Newswire/ -- National Clergy Council president the Reverend Rob Schenck (pronounced SHANK) delivered the opening prayer at the 2nd Annual Hispanic Heritage Dinner last night, September 27, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Capitol Hill. (Prayer is included below.) The event is produced by the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute and was sponsored by Freddie Mac, BellSouth,  Ford Motor Company, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and other major corporations.


Reverend Schenck shared the platform with members of congress Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Henry Cuellar as well as U.S. Senator and presumptive presidential candidate Sam Brownback. Diaz-Balart noted that the Institute's mission statement, "Advancing the Hispanic Community's Diversity of Thought," affirms, among others, Hispanic leaders who are "pro-life."


Following his prayer, Rev. Schenck said, "The Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute is a new and dynamic collection of outstanding civic, political and business leaders with new ideas, new perspectives and great talent, skill and achievement. Their emphasis on the importance of faith is a real strength giving them an important advantage over other purely secular political groups. I was humbled to be in on the ground floor of this rising star in American public life."


Senator Sam Brownback, who is exploring a presidential bid in '08, was publicly commended by Diaz-Balart for his courageous leadership on finding a way for undocumented aliens to obtain legitimacy. Brownback noted in his remarks that he has taken considerable criticism from fellow conservatives for his overall voting record on immigration.


Rev. Schenck stated about Brownback's immigration record: "Sam has always been a leader on the three core issues of sanctity of life, sanctity of marriage and the family and the public acknowledgement of God. In doing so, he's always been a risk taker. I think his immigration position has shed light on a real tension within the conservative and Christian communities. While most Christian conservatives want secure borders, they also struggle with the Bible's clear instruction to welcome the stranger into our homes and communities. I know conservative Christian churches made almost entirely of undocumented workers who wish only to enjoy the same freedom our forefathers pursued coming to this country. This is not an easy dilemma to resolve."


The dinner program concluded with the presentation of the Freedom Award to US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez.


Rev. Schenck, who founded a Christian humanitarian relief agency in Mexico City, delivered his prayer partly in Spanish and English. Full text:


"Grande es Jehová, y digno de ser en gran manera alabado !


Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised. Psalm 48:1.

Shall we pray?


Holy God, we are thankful for this Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute; for the rich contribution its members have made to the conversation and debate over public policy in our country. Even more so, we are grateful for the rich contribution made by the Hispanic community to our American culture, especially in devotion to hard work, family and traditional values.


Now, O Lord, we thank you for these gifts we are about to receive, mindful of those in need. Please bless our time around these tables.


I offer this prayer to You: en el nombre de Jesucristo, nuestro Senor. Amen."