Chicago religious leaders gathered at a luncheon today to support Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel on the day before he takes office as the city’s leader.
Emanuel was one of the honored guests at the Chicago Interfaith Celebration at the JW Marriott in the Loop, alongside City Treasurer Stephanie Neely and City Clerk-elect Susana Mendoza. Various figures from Christian, Jewish, Islamic and Native American communities offered prayers from their own faiths to honor Emanuel as the first Jewish mayor of Chicago.
“We, as ministers, must pray for his discernment and his wisdom, and that he remembers the people,” said Pastor Byron Brazier of the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood. “When he remembers the people, he will be successful.”
Emanuel spoke to the audience for several minutes, asking them to extend their prayers to the city’s children.
“While we are of many different faiths, we share a common love, not just for our city, but most importantly, for the children of our city,” Emanuel said. “Nothing would give me a greater sense of support than the prayer for our children.”Recounting a prayer that he said his father taught him, Emanuel then asked the religious leaders to remember their responsibilities in their respective communities.
“Who are you if you are not for yourself? What are you if you’re only for yourself? And if not now, then when?” Emanuel said. “And that is the judgment for all of us in this room.”Emanuel is scheduled to be inaugurated Monday morning at Millennium Park.