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Bemidji minister gives Minnesota Senate invocation

The Bemidji minister who spoke at the Bemidji Regional Event Center groundbreaking gave the invocation Monday to start that day's session of the Minnesota Senate.

The Rev. Jim Holthus of Bemidji State University's Lutheran Campus Ministry offered words of cooperation or compromise as the Legislature enters its final week before its constitutionally mandated adjournment.

Major funding bills have yet to be enacted, with the likelihood of a special session looming larger each day.

"We acknowledge that at times our own zeal can keep us from cooperation or compromise," Rev. Holthus prayed. "We acknowledge that we are human beings with good intentions who get pulled in many different ways. We hear the voice of our conscience, the voice of our party, the voice of the poor, the voice of our Creator."

Holthus recognized that with limited resources, there isn't enough resources to give all groups all that they ask.

"We can use the resources of the past to guide us while we govern and make decisions in the present, hoping and trusting in You to weave those choices into a future our children and grandchildren can appreciate," he prayed.

Holthus asked for wisdom, discernment, compassion and courage and said that "we are doing the best we can as human beings made in Your image. We are blessed to live in this state ..."

Holthus was invited to the Senate by Sen. Mary Olson, DFL-Bemidji, after she and Assistant Senate Majority Leader Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud, heard him give the invocation in April at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Bemidji Regional Event Center.

Long a controversial project threatening to split the community, Holthus acknowledged that there were well-meaning differences of opinion on the project but prayed citizens on both sides of the issue would move forward as a community.

He blessed the event center as a needed economic development tool, but urged officials an citizens not to lose sight of aiding the homeless and the hungry in the community.

Both senators thought this kind of message would be particularly appropriate for the end of the legislative session, at a time when tensions often are at their highest, Olson said Tuesday.

"We are entering the home stretch of one of the most difficult legislative sessions in the history of our state," said Sen. Olson.

"At a time when nerves are frayed and tempers are flaring, Sen. Clark and I thought it would be valuable for our colleagues to hear Pastor Holthus' message of cooperation, negotiation and understanding," Olson said. "As lawmakers, we must remember that while we may not always agree with one another, we're all working toward building a stronger, more prosperous state."