Invocation for President Obama’s Town Hall Meeting
Cannon Falls, MN August 15, 2011
Given by Rev. Barbara Martin
First Congregational United Church of Christ
Cannon Falls, MN
Good and gracious God, we thank you for the privilege of gathering in this time and place. We thank you for the freedoms bestowed upon us as citizens of this beautiful city, state and country where your Good Creation provides abundantly for the world’s tables. We come with grateful hearts for all the blessings of our lives – family, friends, and community. May your Holy Spirit be present among us inspiring us to be our best selves.
Grant us, Creator God, the wisdom to follow your loving way when differing beliefs compete for our loyalties. Grant us understanding of our human interdependence, not fierce independence … generosity, not hoarding … cooperation, not power plays … unity, not division.
Grant us courage, Sustainer God, to participate in this gathering without moral arrogance which closes our ears and hearts to the ways of justice and compassion. Empower us with discernment to seek faithful ways of seeking the common good … for each of us dreams of a world where children learn to use persuasive words rather than fists to solve problems … where children can witness handshakes instead of hitting and reconciliation instead of retribution.
Bless us now, Ever-giving God, as your humble servants to each other and to the world, as we discuss and debate … as we voice important issues and concerns … as we do the important work together of re-building confidence. Grant us patience to overcome our differences and our difficulties to make this nation a place where ‘welcome’ is embodied hospitality and compassion is not a commodity, but an assumption.
Bless, O God, our President and our representatives as they work to renew our nation as a place of integrity and peace. May President Obama and all our leaders seek ways forward with compromise that reflects the insights of many. May hope be restored and reclaimed as they strive to re-invigorate the American dream … breaking through walls of intolerance with reconciling leadership. May they gain determined purpose for the common good of ALL people and the beautiful dream of shared abundance. Bless each of us, O God, on this day and always … for we trust you can make a way out of no way.
WE PRAY IN YOUR MANY HOLY NAMES. AMEN.
Special thanks for the inspiring words of The Rt. Rev. Gene V. Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire at the Opening Inaugural Event, Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC, January 18, 2009 and Dr. Barry Black, Chaplain Distinguished of the United States Senate at the Inaugural Luncheon http://youtu.be/jbZSPsp-ogQ