Presidential Mansion

Obama and Romney spend a campaign-free Sunday with family

F2APWWKCBF8F President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican challenger Mitt Romney both spent Sunday by attending church services with their respective families. Yesterday was one of the rare occasions when the two front runners for the upcoming presidential elections have no campaign event to attend to.

President Obama, together with first lady Michelle Obama and their daughters, Sasha and Malia, attended mass at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Lafayette Square, just across the White House. The last time the president publicly attended church with his family was on Easter Sunday this year, also at St. John’s.

Rev. Michael Angell mentioned what he called “a summer of violence” during the sermon and spoke about the tragic shootings in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado late last month as well as the one in a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.  A total of 18 people were killed in both incidents. After the sermon, the first family took Communion from Angell.

According to the White House, the president and his family has attended nine different churches in Washington during his almost four years in office. Aside from St. John’s Episcopal Church, the other D.C.-area congregations the first family attended are the 19th Street Baptist Church, the Washington National Cathedral, Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church, Vermont Avenue Baptist Church, Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, Shiloh Baptist Church, Zion Baptist Church, and Evergreen Chapel at Camp David in Maryland.

Mitt Romney, who is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also took a rest from the campaign yesterday morning and attended a Mormon sacrament meeting in Wolefboro, N.H. with his wife, Ann, his son Tagg, daughter-in-law Jen and their six children. Romney and his family listened intently to the speakers, which included members of the Marriott family, owners of the famous hotel chain.

The Romney family also took part in singing hymns and exchanging pleasantries with other worshipers. At one point during the service, his wife and daughter-in-law joined about 40 other women to sing “Because I Have Been Given Much,” a popular Mormon hymn about using the blessings you have been given.

Romney is the first Mormon to clinch the presidential nomination of the Republican Party, or any other major U.S. political party for that matter, and he doesn’t speak often to voters about his faith in any great detail.


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