Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Governor’s Prayer Breakfast—Welcoming Remarks
February 27, 2003

Thank you, Representative Hatfield.

Good morning, and welcome.

We gather today to honor a simple tradition here in Olympia—the laying aside of differences to pray and break bread together. We gather in the spirit of inclusiveness, fellowship and prayer.

The first Governor’s Prayer Breakfast was held 62 years ago here in Olympia, initiated by Governor Arthur B. Langlie. In a world already torn by war and a country threatened by it, our predecessors in 1941 came together to pray and honor the virtues of love and faith.

The tradition they started on that cold January morning six decades ago was inspiring—inspiring enough to become the model for the National Prayer Breakfast.

Today we meet under similar circumstances. We live in an increasingly dangerous world with war looming on the horizon. The nations of that world weigh agonizing questions of good and evil, with human lives hanging precariously in the balance.

Families in our state and across our nation are struggling, and are uncertain about the future. Now, as then, we gather to transcend parties and politics to pray together for a more loving, more forgiving world.

To pray for more tolerance, understanding, and against stereotyping and bigotry.

Like all times, this is a good time to pray.

It is a good time to pray for wisdom and guidance. Let us pray for careful, sober judgment. Let us pray that our leaders will make the best decisions. Let us pray that the teachings of the Old and New Testament to love one another are not lost in the grim realities with which we struggle.

Let us pray that we continue to help each other. And a good time to pray that we will find the way to better days ahead.

As we pray together today, let us also remember who we are. Just as this morning we transcend our daily business and political differences to reflect on more important things, let’s remember that we are, above all else, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, and friends and respected colleagues.

We love and are loved, which is both the source and the lesson of our various faiths.

We are members of the family of humanity as well. We gather around these tables as members of that larger family today.

And like those people who first met to pray together in 1941, we are grateful for life’s bountiful blessings. And we are humbly hopeful that today’s trials will be overcome and a better, more peaceful planet will emerge.

I thank you all for joining in fellowship and faith this morning. God Bless all the people of our earth!

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