A Prayer in "The People's House"

I had the honor of praying at the Ohio General Assembly in the Statehouse in Columbus today. I said "hey" to President McKinley (one of eight presidents to hail from Ohio) on my way past to park in the garage under the statehouse.

Once there I was greeted by Nicole, an aide to my friend and state rep Tim Derickson. She guided me to the House Chamber...or I would never have found my way. Well, okay, maybe I would have. I was early, so only a few people were there. The room is absolutely gorgeous, and each representative's desk has a cute little PC laptop on it. They looked like toys.

These are the steps leading to the speaker's dais, where Abraham Lincoln once stood. In March 1861 (150 years ago this month), on his way to Washington to be inaugurated as the sixteenth president, the Great Emancipator stopped in Columbus and spoke to a joint session of the Ohio Legislature in the House Chamber. They told me, however, that the carpet has been changed since then.

The picture above was taken before the chamber started to fill with people, using the latest photo technology (I handed a kind gentleman my iPhone and he took the photo).

The session opened with Rep. Derickson introducing me. I prayed (the prayer will be posted on my prayer blog tomorrow), and then the pledge of allegiance followed. I was honored to shake Speaker Batchelder's hand as he thanked me warmly. Rep. Derickson then showed me the door (literally!) and while he went to the work of being an important state representative, I took a quick self-guided tour. I took the above pic from the balcony soon after the session began.

I made my way to the rotunda, where a large projection screen was set up with a live feed from the Senate chambers. An overflow crowd was there today because the Senate was debating the controversial bill to limit collective-bargaining rights for public employees (the bill narrowly passed the Senate later in the day and so will move to the house).

I took the above photo from outside the Senate chamber, which was packed...as was the vestibule outside the chamber, which had been furnished with chairs and video screens.

The Ohio Statehouse--often called "The People's House"--celebrates its sesquicentennial this year (the building began to be used in 1857, but the rotunda and Capitol Square were not completed until 1861).

No comments:

Post a Comment