By Rev. Dr. Kate R. Walker
Welcome to this time and place
designated for community,
appropriated for reflection, song and learning,
appointed for inspiration, contemplation and comfort.
Welcome to this time and place,
where surprise may arrive with you
when peace may lighten your load,
‘why’ is answered by the spirit that guides you to be here.
Welcome to this time and place
listen, listen, listen
to the heart’s song
the path you are on ... where ever it may lead.
Welcome. Welcome to you all.
Come into this space of peace and refuge.
Come into this house of friendship and love.
Come let us all enter into a time of reflection,
give pause to daily lives of tasks and lists,
to reflect upon that which we hold as holy,
most precious and value.
Let us walk our path with gratitude.
Let our path be one of insight, wisdom and compassion.
Welcome, welcome to you all.
Note: My prayers are usually offered extemporaneously, the following were written for publication.
Prayer for our Communities
Blessed Spirit of Life, Love and Justice,
As we unburden the crushing weight of oppression,
We discover we are caught in a vast fabric of mutuality.
We cannot look at just one thread as if it alone is responsible for racism.
It connects to poverty, ageism, ableism and gender.
It connects to faith, civic duty and commitment to creating the common good for all.
All threads are tightly, intimately, and breathtakingly dependent upon the other,
Woven for survival into this fabric of mutuality.
It is held together by power infused with our wants, desires and demands.
The color of your skin influences the color of our fabric binding us together.
I cannot see the beauty of the fabric without seeing the beauty of your skin.
I am not in the center, nor am I at the edge.
There is no edge, no cut in the weave that demarks where I end or you begin.
This ever-flowing fabric is the heart of creation itself.
I can see your beauty as it reflects on me,
Each of us unique, full of stories grounded in love and disappointment.
This love and disappointment?
How do we lift the burden without lifting the fabric of our lives?
May we find the wisdom, courage and audacity to care for this fabric,
And keep safe its beauty of colors and stories.
Yours and mine.
Amen and Blessed be
Blessed Spirit of Life, fill my body with your powerful force. Pour into my blood, fill my lungs, and strengthen my muscles. Guide my vision so I may see with clarity. Give my tongue wisdom to know when to speak and when to be silent. Let me hear the pain of the beloved, and let me hear their love and compassion so that my life may be deepened and broadened.
Blessed Spirit of Love, fill my heart with your strength so that I may break a thousand times and heal a thousand times more. Do not let me shrink from forgiveness. Remind me of your capacity to expand the universe beyond measure, and to fill the intricate space of an atom with your revelation. Let your sustenance feed my malnourished soul and spark creativity anew.
Blessed God of many names throughout the ages, remind me of the holy in each moment and place. Wake me with your gentle touch so I may sense the preciousness of my life. Lift me out of minutia where my mind goes numb and my hands lose strength to help. Let me see the path is there and the invitation always present. Remind me of my inherent worth and my interconnected existence in this sacred web. Embolden me with courage to be a co-creator as I fulfill my life.
Blessed Spirit of Justice, strengthen my resolve to be an ally and advocate for the marginalized and oppressed. Guide me as I envision a world where all lives are seen as sacred and valued. Help me see my privilege and comfort. Ease my fears of change, risk and conflict. Remind me of my responsibility to be of service to others and be held accountable for my actions and words.
Blessed spirits of Life, Love, God and Justice, let my life be a light during times of darkness and a source of celebration in the brightness of joy.