Washington, DC, March 4, 2006
Iowa Major State Day
Iowa to be Honored at Special Service at Washington National Cathedral
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WASHINGTON Iowa leaders and citizens will be celebrated at a special March 19 service at Washington National Cathedral.
Bishop Gregory Vaughn Palmer of the Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church will serve as guest preacher. Worshipers from the Hawkeye State will play key roles at the service, bearing communion elements and offering up gifts to the poor.
As part of its national ministry, Washington National Cathedral offers prayers for the people and leaders of each state annually. The cathedral honors each state with a major observance once every four years. The Iowa flag will be placed on the chancel steps for the service and will remain there for a week in further recognition of the state.
The National Cathedral Association invites all from Iowa to participate in this special day, said Vanessa Andrews, director of the National Cathedral Association. Since 1899, when people first gathered on the Cathedral site, we have recognized that our strength is the citizens from across our nation and around the world who helped build this cathedral church and help us live into our mission as a national house of prayer for all people.
Bishop Palmer, who is from Des Moines, will address the congregation from the historic Canterbury Pulpit, where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his final Sunday sermon, and from where former Missouri senator John Danforth, an Episcopal priest, gave the homily at Ronald Reagans state funeral in June 2004.
The Right Rev. Alan Scarfe, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa, will serve as chief celebrant. Other invited guests include Gov. Tom Vilsack, Sens. Charles Grassley and Tom Harkin, Iowa members of Congress and members of the Iowa State Society, the organization of state natives who live and work in the Washington area.
Afterwards, docents will lead guests on a special tour of the cathedral, the sixth-largest in the world, highlighting references to Iowa. The state flowerthe wild roseis represented in the Folger Bay Window, a kneeler in St. Johns Chapel honors Presidents James Garfield and Herbert Hoover, and the Coat-of-Arms of the Episcopal Cathedral in Davenport is carved on the Cathedrals half-bosses.
As a national house of prayer for all people, the Cathedral opens its doors to all. On March 19, we especially welcome Iowa citizens as we honor their contributions to our nation, Andrews said. Iowa Day will be an energetic celebration of the state.
The National Cathedral Association (NCA) is the friends organization of Washington National Cathedral. It counts more than 14,000 members in every state and around the world who support the cathedrals missions and ministries.
ATTN PRINT MEDIA: An account of the celebration and photos from the event will be available by March 20. If you desire e-mail transmission of this account and/or photos sent as JPEG attachments please contact Elizabeth Mullen at the number above. Available on the web site are print-quality photos of Washington National Cathedral (Photos for Print under News at www.cathedral.org/cathedral).
SOURCE: Washington National Cathedral