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Carolyn Kaster, Associated Press
President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and daughter Sasha hold hands as they talk and walk from the White House through Lafayette Park to attend service at St. John's Church Sunday, March 18, 2012, in Washington.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama attended service at a historic church that is steps away from the White House and often frequented by sitting presidents.

Obama was accompanied by his wife, Michelle, and daughter, Sasha, on the cloudy, brisk morning as they walked through Lafayette Square to St. John's Episcopal Church.

The service included scripture readings from Numbers 21, Ephesians 2, John 3 and the singing of "Amazing Grace."

The visiting pastor, Rev. Thomas Reid Ward, Jr., reflected on the words of the popular hymn written by John Newton, and told the congregation that God's grace instills faith and courage.

"All we have to do is believe," he said.

The Obamas participated in the audience welcome of greeting pew neighbors and in holy communion before walking back to the executive mansion.