On Faith: Local Pastor Leads Prayer for House of Representatives as Guest Chaplain

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Becky Tirabassi, Newport Beach pastor
Becky Tirabassi, Newport Beach pastor

Last week, Becky Tirabassi, Newport Beach pastor and author of many books on prayer, traveled to Washington D.C. to be the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan introduced her, and she opened the session of the House by praying for our nation.

“I’m humbled, excited and thankful,” explained Becky. “It was a wonderful honor, especially as there are only a few Guest Chaplains each year.”

Becky explained the origin of the idea.

“In early 2016, I started Fuller Seminary for my Master of Divinity Degree program. The first class I took was Ethics,” she said. “My first assignment was to shadow someone at a non-profit organization, and for some reason, I thought I should shadow a Chaplain from the U.S. House or Senate. I didn’t know either Chaplain, but made a few connections, and last May I traveled to D.C. and met with both Chaplains and observed them in their pastoral roles. I thought I would love to do that.”

“That same week, I met with Dana Rohrabacher in D.C. I discovered you have to be a pastor to be nominated by your Congressperson to be a Guest Chaplain,” she continued. “A few months later I was nominated, and by March, the Chaplain’s office officially invited me to serve as Guest Chaplain to the House of Representatives on May 24, 2017, which was exactly one year later.”

Becky and her husband Roger are co-pastors of Viewpoint Church in Newport Beach, a church plant of Rock Harbor. They have finally moved into their own location after previously renting facilities for Sunday services, including the old City Hall, Pacifica Christian High School, and a room in Mariners library.

On Easter 2017, they held their first service in their own building at 866 West 16th Street in Newport.

In the fall of 2016, Becky transferred to Denver Seminary to graduate sooner, and she was required to have a professional mentor for the next three years. After meeting Chaplain Dr. Black last year in D.C., Becky asked him to be her professional mentor.

“I reminded him that there has never been a woman Chaplain of the Senate or House in the history of the United States, so he could hardly say no,” she said.

“This past week, while in D.C., I also attended a Pastor’s Conference with 150 pastors from California. I suggested that they get tickets to sit in the House gallery, and join me in prayer by saying Amen with me. They also prayed over me just one hour before I left for the Capital. Their prayers seemed to take away any fear or nervousness. This was especially important since the Chaplain’s assistant told me I would probably be overwhelmed if I had any idea how many prestigious leaders prayed from that podium!”

“During my prayer, I felt empowered by God to say a prayer that could, in that moment, move His hand and move His heart, to work in the lives of all our leaders.  I prayed that we, as a nation, would hear His voice, bring honor to his name and to be agents of change in His honor. By the way, I actually heard a lot of Amens from the gallery! And my husband, who was also in the gallery, said he felt very emotional because of the history and power of the moment.”

Afterwards, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher told Becky, “We live in such a wonderful open society; one in which a pastor can pray to God in front of the entire United States House of Representatives.”

For further information, see viewpointchurch.org.

Cindy can be reached at [email protected].

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