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Annual Dinner

Divided Politics and Lonely Americans: A Conversation with Senator Ben Sasse and Dr. Os Guinness to Offer Hope and Healing to an Ailing America

At the 2019 Faith & Law Annual Dinner, Os and Jenny Guinness and Senator Ben Sasse and Melissa Sasse were honored with the Charles Colson Award for Public Service. Following the presentation of the awards, Senator Sasse and Os spoke about Divided Politics and Lonely Americans, moderated by Cherie Harder, President of the Trinity Forum and member of the Faith & Law board.

About the Charles Colson Award for Public Service

Chuck Colson spoke many times during the first three decades of Faith & Law and was a significant supporter of our effort. Faith & Law Founder John Palafoutas says, “I'll never forget the time he spoke to Faith and Law in the Senate Caucus Room, the same room in which the Watergate Hearings were conducted. His testimony eventually led to his criminal conviction and prison sentence, and by the Grace of God, his conversion to Jesus Christ.”

In 2016, Faith & Law awarded its first Charles Colson Award for Public Service. This award is given to those who exemplify what it means to be a Christian working in the public square, integrating a biblical worldview with service to our nation.

2019 Colson Awardees:

Dr. Os Guinness

Os Guinness is an author and social critic. Great-great-great grandson of Arthur Guinness, the Dublin brewer, he was born in China in World War Two where his parents were medical missionaries. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of London and his D.Phil in the social sciences from Oriel College, Oxford. Os has written or edited more than thirty books, including The Call, Time for Truth, Unspeakable, A Free People’s Suicide, and The Global Public Square. His latest book, Last Call for Liberty: How America’s genius for freedom has become its greatest threat, was published in 2018. Since moving to the United States in 1984, Os has been a Guest Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies, a Guest Scholar and Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Senior Fellow at the Trinity Forum and the EastWest Institute in New York. He lives with his wife Jenny in the Washington DC area.

Jenny Guinnness

Jenny Guinness was born in California and studied at the University of Southern California. She became a photographic fashion model with Eileen Ford, and as a Vogue cover girl had the privilege of working with such legendary photographers as Richard Avedon and Irving Penn. During that time she began a spiritual search and journey toward faith that led to studies at L’Abri in Switzerland where she met and married her husband Os. Their son, Christopher, was born in Oxford, England where Os was engaged in doctoral studies and Jenny worked with a London television production company. Jenny has recently written the story of her search for meaning in the midst of the “vanity fair” of the New York fashion world. The Guinnesses live in Mclean, Virginia.

Senator Ben Sasse

Ben is a U.S. Senator representing the great state of Nebraska. A fifth-generation Nebraskan, Ben grew up walking beans and detasseling corn, experiences that taught him the value of hard work. He came to the Senate having spent the previous five years as a college president. When he was recruited to take over the failing Midland University, Ben was just 37 years old, making him one of the youngest college presidents in the nation. The 130-year-old Lutheran college was on the verge of bankruptcy when he arrived, but became one of the fastest-growing higher education institutions in the country by the time of his departure. Most of Ben’s career has been spent guiding companies and institutions through times of crisis with straight talk about the core issues. He has worked with the Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey and Company, as well as private equity firms and not-for-profit organizations, to tackle failing strategies across a broad array of sectors and nations.

Melissa Sasse

Melissa McLeod Sasse has been married to Ben for 24 years and is currently managing a household that commutes together between rural Nebraska and Washington DC. The commuting family includes three kids, three dogs, and whatever other animals their 8-year-old son has captured any given week. Born on an Air Force base in California, and with degrees from the University of Alabama and George Mason University, Melissa has worked in public and private high schools in multiple states. She has taught biology and chemistry, has served as a guidance counselor, college advisor, and residence hall director, and is currently volunteering at an urban charter school and running the curriculum for her children's hybrid schooling.