Tuesday January 24, 2012 | 11:00 AM

The chaplain of the Maine Warden Service, Dr. Elizabeth Kate Braestrup, will deliver the opening prayer today in the U.S. House of Representatives, says Rep. Mike Michaud, D-2nd District. That will occur about noon.

Braestrup is there at Michaud’s invitation, his office said. It is common for lawmakers to invite home state clergy to deliver opening prayers.

Braestrup, a Unitarian Universalist minister, also is the author of the book, Here If You Need Me. She became a minister after her first husband Jasmes "Drew" Griffith, a Maine state trooper, was killed in an on-duty car crash.

The House floor proceedings can be viewed on C-Span or online at C-Span.org

(Updated as of 1:15 p.m.: In remarks welcoming Braestrup to the House, Michaud noted that when her husband Drew was killed in 1996, he was beginning to prepare himself to become a Unitarian Universalist minister.

“Kate decided to pursue Drew’s dream” and began attending the Bangor Theological Seminary in 1997, and was ordained in 2004, Michaud said.

“Reverend Braestrup is a true asset to our state,” Michaud said. “Her remarkable devotion to helping others has made her an invaluable public servant and a beloved member of the community.”)

(Updated as of 1:30 p.m.: In her prayer, Braestrup said, in part, that:

“We do not derive our identity as Americans from our color or our creed, from our wealth or power, nor even from the land itself (though we do love the land); rather, by your grace, America is America through its words:

That all men are created equal

That all are endowed with inalienable rights

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

These beautiful necessary words, God, may every word spoken and written from this chamber contain an echo of those words.”)


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Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
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