State Of Faith: More Than Faith
Stained glass windows, Bible verses, and gospel hymns. It's a common sight in churches across Missouri. However, they're just as common at the Capitol. Sally Faith sings and plays the piano under the Capitol Rotunda every Wednesday night.
"At church I just saw people playing the piano and I thought, that is so cool, and it looks so easy. And I just wanted to so bad to play that piano," Rep. Sally Faith said.
Faith's music isn't the only thing she shares in the Capitol. This state representative also takes her last name to heart.
"I don't think there can be too much religion in anything. I think there has to be understanding, but I believe whether it's in my job, if I'm working for a private enterprise, you know, it's my faith and it's part of me," Faith said.
Faith isn't alone. Religious beliefs at the state Capitol cut across party lines, ideologies and partisanship.
"Faith is the foundation of all that I believe in and all that I find dear and all of my priorities. So as I set priorities for what I think is the role of government in the life of people, my faith plays a big part in it," Rep. Judy Baker said.
Sen. Delbert Scott holds a Bible study each Thursday morning in his office.
"We'll have six or seven senators and staff, I mean, every chair in the room is filled up. And it's an hour of sharing on different issues and prayer requests. It's a real strengthening part of every week," Sen. Delbert Scott said.
That time with fellow legislators often translates to business on the Senate floor.
"If you could be in this group on a Thursday morning after we spend an hour together in sharing the gospel, sharing needs together and have prayer. And we walk from this room with an optimistic point of view knowing that we have friends and friends on a higher level, I think you'd be refreshed to know that the pulse of faith is strong," Scott said.
"They have such passion on Sundays, and they're singing and they're shouting and they're praising. And, you know, you can see the transfer of what they believe on the floor. Because it comes through and they get impassioned about what they speak, about what they believe in, you know, and I can see that comparison and I'm like, oh okay," Rep. Leonard Hughes said.
But for some lawmakers strong faith is a private matter.
"Even Jesus says that when one prays his instruction for prayer is to go into a closet and to close it off and not pray for the powers that be or to be seen as someone righteous," Baker said.
For others faith isn't a black and white issue, but one colored with nuances. And legislators like Sally Faith hope a few notes can go a long way to bring people together.
"It's a way for me to know other people, and it's a way for them to express their thoughts and their ideas about music and about gospel songs. And it's a camaraderie to be able to do that, so we can relate to each other, and then we can talk about other things from there," Faith said.
To see a complete faith breakdown, click on the KOMU.com extra to learn how lawmakers worship.