Senate Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder, R-Boise, has launched his weekly prayer group for senators, which will start meeting Tuesday at 7 a.m. in the majority caucus room. “It’s a time to encourage one another,” said Winder, who’s had the weekly prayer meetings since he first joined the Senate four years ago. “It’s a bipartisan effort, and it crosses the spectrum of different denominations and religions.” This year, Winder said new Sen. Branden Durst, D-Boise, has suggested expanding the group to also include House members.
The group gathers for about 15 to 20 minutes. “Someone will share a devotional kind of thought for the day,” Winder said, followed by a scripture reading. “We share our prayer needs,” he said, including praying for family members who are ill. Winder, who is Presbyterian, said, “We can come from different denominations and different faith backgrounds, yet prayer is important to all the faith groups of the world.” In the past, he said, turnout has ranged from no one to “probably as many as seven or eight.”