Today at the NY State Capitol many faith leaders joined with union, labor and members of the peace movement as part of the commemoration of the 51st Anniversary this week of the March on Washington and as part of the Moral Week of protests, demonstrations and gatherings. I was honored to be a part of today’s leadership and to offer the following invocation. We are part of the growing #MoralMondays movement in New York State, the #1 state with income inequality in the United States. Thank you to the Labor-Reglion Coalition for it’s organization behind our witness today. It was an honor to stand with many faith leaders and others from around the State and to be a part of shared witness together! I especially love this image of going with our dreams and not our fears, for that is in my mind, the urgent task of leadership and faith for the living of these days…
Let us pray,
gathering first into the silence of this time,
allowing the Great Spirit of God to fill and renew our spirits.
Let us pray….
Today O God we gather as people of faith
who stand against the Empire
here in the shadow of the Capitol Building of the Empire State.
O Lord our God
We are here.
We could be anywhere else in this moment.
And we will not be moved.
We will not back down.
We will not tire out.
Our cause today is justice.
Our cause today is peace.
Our cause today is well-being.
This is our ancient and holy calling
And we are people of faith
so we will not be moved
We will not waver
We will not back down
We will not tire out
For the struggle before us is long
And the adversary before us
will not easily relinquish its power
for it is holding on with all its strength
to the evils of
Keep us free from wanting or desiring
these things O God
for they lure us in too.
Help us to keep clear what Your calling is.
And to Whom we follow
even at the risk of letting go of the things
that offer us a sense of security.
We are here today to join our diverse voices
For justice and for peace
For that seamless garment of
life abundant for all people
in all places
and for your Creation.
For a living wage
For the minimum wage in this State is too low
and families cannot live and sustain real life on this
It is unacceptable to us.
It does not value life
It makes a mockery out of work
We want and expect a change
and we will not
support leadership that does not advance and prioritize
the wholeness of families and communities first.
For the rights of workers
To safe working conditions
free of discrimination of all kinds.
For dignity and honor in work.
We will not relent from this goal.
For you call us to honor the worker and the labor of their hands.
For our youth
that they might have a future
in the land of the free.
Our youth cry out
So many are left behind in communities that trap
and ensnare them.
policies and police who do not respect them
Insitutions designed to offer one set of our youth
one option and
other another one.
This is unjust and
it is immoral.
it is dehumanizing
and we will not accept this
and so we are here today to speak against all
these things in God’s Name.
The unspeakable sin and scourge of racism and classism
is unacceptable to us for we follow You O God.
No human being is illegal.
No human being is less than another
No human being is valued more than another.
We are all precious and honored in
We are your children.
And so we will stand with all our might and all our strength
In communities where anyone is marginalized.
And we will stand against brutality, inhumanity
We will not be moved
And we will protect and care for our youth
at all costs.
We will not be moved.
Our Creation cries out.
She is dying around us.
And our sin and participation in the killing of your first
gift, the Creation surrounds us.
We recommit ourselves today to be people whose
peace and commitments do not just lie with human beings
but with all of Creation,
animals, plants, rivers
streams, mountains, lakes, oceans, and the air.
We will not be moved.
We recommit ourselves to all that is in our power to heal
and save our beloved, precious Creation.
We stand today on the steps of this Capitol building
to say that where there is unchecked power and influence
Where money has more power than the voices of the people
There is evil.
In this time we pray for elected officials who will stand and struggle with the people.
We recommit ourselves and rededicate our lives to the long struggle before us.
For it is the struggle of our faith.
God give us strength.
God give us power.
God give us boldness of action and speech.
God give us humility.
God give us peace.
Help us speak truth to the “power” around us.
Help us to partner in new and creative ways with the communities around us.
Remind us of the long and blessed
tradition of the prophets, ancient, old and new
in which we stand.
Guide our feet today.
While we run this leg of this race.
Guide our feet.
Hold our hands.
Stand by us.
We know you are with us,
God of the Ages.