Source: Religion News Service
From a sparsely adorned office building a stone’s throw from the White House, Joshua DuBois carefully navigates the delicate line between church and state.
Each morning, he sends a devotional message to President Obama’s BlackBerry. He appears before religious and community groups to explain his role as director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and, in turn, relays their concerns to administration officials. In the course of any given day, he’ll receive as many as 750 e-mails from religious leaders, reporters and government officials.
But in the midst of all the political juggling, the 26-year-old preacher’s kid remains a person of faith who quotes from favorite hymns—“Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” is one. The Bible, too, serves as inspiration.
“I’m often inspired by the grass-roots nature of Acts and the early church,” he said in a recent interview, “and what they were able to build from virtually nothing.”
To some extent, DuBois is doing just that with the faith-based office, which Obama inherited from former President George W. Bush, but revamped in a bid to expand its focus, depoliticize the grant-making process and tamp down church-state concerns.