Washington (CNN)Hillary Clinton received some unsolicited advice from a religious leader from her past on Sunday in Washington: Be nicer to the press.
Citing scripture, Clinton says she'll be nicer to the press
Celebrating the bicentennial of the Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington on Sunday, Clinton said that Phil Wogaman, the church's former pastor who ministered to the Clintons in the 1990s, told her, "If you're going to read and listen to Romans 12, you've got to be nicer to the press."
"So to my friends in the press," Clinton said, looking at the small group of assembled media in the church, "I will certainly take that to heart."
Romans, the sixth book in the New Testament, was written by the Apostle Paul. Chapter 12, verses 14-16, reads, "Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited."
The scripture was read earlier in the service by Meaghan Mullins, a student and church member.
Clinton was joined on Sunday by Chelsea, her daughter, and Bill Clinton, her husband and former president, who was not expected to attend but was introduced as "Hillary's husband ... and Chelsea's dad."
Clinton's used the appearance to speak at length about her faith, a topic she doesn't regularly address publicly, but one that her closest friends and advisers say is critically important to her. Clinton spoke on Sunday about the importance of living ones faith by putting the words of God into action.
"The longer I live, the more places I go and people I meet, the more certain I am that everyone has gifts to be recognized and celebrated," Clinton said. "Together our contributions add up to something greater than we could offer on our own. Isn't that the goal of a community or a congregation?"
Clinton's remarks were part personal and part political, mimicking some of the same themes she uses on the campaign trail.
Citing Paul's letter to the Romans, Clinton said, "It is not enough to just use our gifts, we also have to make it possible for other people to discover and use their gifts, too."
"The truth is there are so many people in this community, in our country, in our world who have so much to offer. Talent is universal, but opportunity is not. Too many people are held back by economic pressure and social barriers," she said. "There are still hard truths to face about race, gender and sexual orientation in America."
The Clintons first attended Foundry in the early 1990s, Clinton said, when the family walked the few blocks to the sanctuary for Sunday service.
"We just walked out of the White House followed by some bewildered secret service agents and made our way to church," she said. "And from that moment to this we have always felt so welcome."
Clinton said the 200-year-old community allowed the family to "step outside all the commotion of life in the White House and in Washington. That was very, very precious to us. Here we were not the first family, we were our family. And we relished and cherished that time."