Sunday, November 22, 2015

Gilbertsville Pastor is First Guest Chaplain Under New U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan

Prior to delivering his opening prayer, Pastor Chris Weidner
and Congressman Ryan Costello met with Speaker Paul D. Ryan
and the Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives,
Patrick J. Conroy
Blogger's Note: The following was provided by Ryan Costello's office:

Congressman Ryan Costello (PA-06) welcomed Pastor Christopher Weidner of St. Luke Lutheran Church in Gilbertsville as the guest chaplain for the U.S. House of Representatives.

This was the first guest chaplain that Speaker Paul D. Ryan has welcomed to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Since 1789, the House has been served by chaplains of various religious denominations. Currently, the position is held by Reverend Patrick J. Conroy who serves as the 60th Chaplain of the House of Representatives.

Each Congress, Representatives have the opportunity to recommend a guest chaplain from their district to visit the U.S. Capitol and offer an opening prayer. Pastor Christopher Weidner was Congressman Costello’s guest chaplain for this term in Congress.

During the 113th Congress, the Sixth District of Pennsylvania sponsored Reverend Steve Walker, formerly of Fairview Village Church in Eagleville, as a guest chaplain.

“I was humbled and excited to be a part of this ongoing succession of faithful chaplains who have offered the opening prayer for years,” said Pastor Weidner. During his trip to Washington, DC, Pastor Weidner took the opportunity to visit with his family and see his college roommate David Pomerantz, an employee of the House Appropriations Committee.

“It is a great honor to welcome Pastor Christopher Weidner to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to offer our opening prayer and blessing,” said Congressman Ryan Costello. “For 20 years, Pastor Chris has served the Gilbertsville community and the St. Luke Lutheran Church parish with unwavering faith and commitment. I offer my most heartfelt thanks for leading the House of Representatives in prayer this morning as our guest chaplain.”

Here is video of his opening prayer for the House of Representatives:

In the 30 years since his ordination, Pastor Weidner has played an active and collaborative role in our local community and regional church organizations, engaging in programs such as the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod Council Finance Committee, the Bear Creek Lutheran Camp Board of Directors, companionship ministries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, and has helped provide affordable housing for seniors through St. Luke Knolls, a federal Rural Development project. In addition to those beneficial programs, Pastor Weidner has been a volunteer hospital chaplain, an advocate of young adults in ministry, a supporter of local Boy Scouting, and shares a love of writing, singing and photography.

Pastor Weidner was raised in Bridgewater, New Jersey. He graduated from Dickinson College, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 1973 and received his Master of Divinity in 1985 from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He has served with Messiah Lutheran in Bethlehem and St. James Lutheran in Reading.

Pastor Weidner was married to the late Jane Dunbar Weidner and is the father of two married daughters and the proud grandfather of two granddaughters.

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