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Former Bermuda pastor prays for US to unite at Inauguration

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The Reverend Silvester Beaman gives the benediction during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington today. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool)
The Reverend Silvester Beaman greets President Joe Biden after giving the benediction during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington, today. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool)

A former Bermuda pastor highlighted how people can come together and help others when he spoke at the US presidential inauguration yesterday.

The Reverend Silvester Beaman delivered the benediction at the historic event in Washington DC.

He invited those in attendance at the Capitol to join in prayer and called upon God for “divine favour” towards President Joe Biden, his wife Jill, Vice President Kamala Harris, her husband Doug Emhoff and their families.

Dr Beaman said: “More than ever, they and our nation need you.

“We need you, for in you we discover our common humanity.

“In our common humanity we will seek out the wounded and bind their wounds. We will seek healing for those who are sick and diseased. We will mourn our dead.

“We will befriend the lonely, the least and the left-out. We will share our abundance with those who are hungry.

“We will do justly to the oppressed, acknowledge sin and seek forgiveness, thus grasping reconciliation.”

Dr Beaman, who was a pastor at St Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in Hamilton for about seven years, added: “In discovering our humanity we will seek the good in and for all our neighbours.

“We will love the unlovable, remove the stigma of the so-called untouchables.

“We will care for our most vulnerable, our children, the elderly, emotionally-challenged and the poor.

“We will seek rehabilitation beyond correction. We will extend opportunity to those locked out of opportunity,” he said. “We will make friends of our enemies.”

Dr Beaman met Mr Biden after he left the island and took up a new post in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1993.

The pair became friends when the politician was a member of the US Senate.

Dr Beaman’s prayer said that people “shall no longer raise up weapons against one another”.

He added: “Neither shall we learn hatred any more.

“We will lie down in peace and not make our neighbours afraid.”

Dr Beaman said: “In you, oh God, we discover our humanity.

“In our humanity we discover our commonness beyond the difference of colour, creed, origin, political party, ideology, geography and personal preferences.

“We will become greater stewards of your environment, preserving the land, reaping from it a sustainable harvest and securing its wonder and miracle-giving power for generations to come.

“This is our benediction that from these hallowed grounds, where slaves laboured to build this shrine and citadel to liberty and democracy.

“Let us all acknowledge – from the indigenous Native American to those who recently received their citizenship, from the African American to those whose foreparents came from Europe and every corner of the globe, from the wealthy to those struggling to make it, from every human being, regardless of their choices – that this is our country.”

He added: “As such teach us, oh God, to live in it, love in it, be healed in it and reconcile to one another in it, less we miss Kingdom’s goal.”

The pastor, who was a regular visitor to Bermuda before the Covid-19 pandemic, said last week that he believed Mr Biden’s election to US president “would be right for this time”.

Dr Beaman added: “Our nation is divided over social justice issues, we are divided over race, religion, sexual persuasions.

“We are divided and we need someone who can come in and bring the nation together because of this division and coronavirus is part of that.”

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Published January 21, 2021 at 8:29 am (Updated January 21, 2021 at 9:35 am)

Former Bermuda pastor prays for US to unite at Inauguration

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