A delegation of United Methodist bishops presented President George W. Bush with a leather-bound Bible today in a tradition that goes back more than 200 years. The Bible was signed by United Methodist bishops from around the world. the practice of giving Bibles to U.S. presidents began in 1789 with President George Washington.
Five representatives of the Council of Bishops, which is meeting this week in Washington DC, met with President Bush to talk with him about shared concerns and to express their commitment to working together for the future of a better world.
The bishops expressed appreciation for the cordial welcome they received from President Bush, and said they felt the visit was an important step in continuing to build a relationship for working together.
“We wanted him to know that we are praying for him, and that we share with him the commitment for a better world. We are looking forward to finding ways to work together on common issues such as AIDS in Africa,” said Bishop Peter D. Weaver, President of the Council of Bishops and Bishop of the Boston episcopal area.
The delegation included officers of the Council of Bishops, as well as bishops from the Metropolitan Washington, DC area. Accompanying Bishop Weaver were “Bishop Janice Huie of the Houston area, president-designate; Bishop Ernest S. Lyght of the West Virginia area, secretary; Bishop John R. Schol of the Baltimore-Washington area and Bishop Charlene Kammerer of the Richmond area.
After their meeting with President Bush, the bishops also participated in a meeting with other religious leaders to talk about world concerns.