By Karen Stokes
Governor Tony Evers and Lt. Governor-elect Sara Rodriguez joined faith leaders from across the community on Thursday, Dec. 29 for an Inaugural Interfaith Service.
The 2023 Wisconsin Inaugural Interfaith Service included leaders from different faith traditions helping to remind everyone that we are all members of one human family and we share a common mission in creating a more inclusive Wisconsin.
Bishop C.H. McClelland, pastor of Holy Cathedral Church of God in Christ hosted the event. Speakers included Rev. Joy Gallmon, Senior Pastor, St. Mark A.M.E. Church; Ahmed Quereshi, Interim Executive Director, Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee; Rabbi Taylor Poslosky, Assistant Rabbi, Congregation Shalom; Very Reverend Javier I. Bustos, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Milwaukee; Pardeep Singh Kaleka, Sikh Community, Anti-hate Advocate.
The service began with an invocation by Reverend Joy Gallmon. Unity and working together was a theme repeated throughout the service.
“We are better together and we all bring something to the table. I see Governor Evers as someone who cares about others. Know that we are here for you,” Bishop C.H. McClelland said.
“When we do things together we can succeed,” Governor Evers said.
Rev. Javier said to Gov. Evers, “The people of Wisconsin have given you another term, another chance to lead us to success by being faithful to the truth.”
Following the service in an interview, Lt. Governor-elect Rodriguez said, “I am appreciative of Lieutenant Governor Barnes and all of the work he has done particularly around green energy. Governor Evers and I are going to have discussions on what areas I’m going to be focused on and I’m so excited to get started this January.”
The state government’s $6.5 billion surplus also came up in the interview.
There will be much debate in Madison over what to do with the state’s budget surplus whether it should be used for tax relief, education, or some other purpose. “I think we’re going to try to reach common ground when we can,” Evers said.