Woman to Preach at Inaugural Prayer Service

WASHINGTON (AP) - The president of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), will deliver the sermon at the National Prayer Service that caps the inaugural activities of Barack Obama.

The Rev. Sharon Watkins will be the first woman to give the sermon at the traditional event, to be held Jan. 21 at the National Cathedral in Washington.

In a statement from the Presidential Inaugural Committee, Watkins called her selection an honor.

The 700,000-member denomination she heads says its founding ideals are "unity in Christ with openness and diversity in practice and belief."

The National Prayer Service will include prayers, readings and hymns delivered by religious leaders of a variety of faiths.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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