This evening I will participate in the inaugural event of the North East Tarrant Interreligious Association. We will hold a National Day of Prayer Service on Southlake Town Square in Southlake, TX. Many National Day of Prayer Events are related to the National Day of Prayer Task Force and associated with folks like fundamentalists such as Shirley Dobson and right wing groups such as Focus on the Family. It is primarily a Christian event.
Our event seeks to be an interfaith event and have a broader theological and more inclusive scope. Showing that prayers for our country and even concern for the military don’t just come from the right wing, our even will contain prayers for those concerns as well.
Because many events in our area are prayer breakfasts for the more widely known and conservative event, our event is in the evening.
Here is the program for the event.
And here is my prayer from near the beginning of the program on Respecting Differences:
Spirit of Life, we gather in this place at this hour to bear witness that love knows no lesser person. Gathered here in one strong body we are the living presence of a right and freedom of spirit as old as America, as ancient as the land, and still waiting to be born-the right for each soul to know and worship ultimate reality in its own way, the freedom of every heart to search for truth and meaning without fear of ridicule or reprisal. Source of compassion, open our hearts and minds, and help us create an even more diverse and tolerant tomorrow where sexual orientation is no barrier to love and acceptance, where theist and atheist work together for love and justice, where the dreams we dream together for a more peaceful future are more important than any religious, ethnic, racial or other difference.
Spirit of Community, help us to banish otherness, to look inside ourselves at what we fear in difference, to understand those fears and anxieties and to overcome them. Help us to overcome hatred based on ignorance. Foster in us a desire to genuinely know and understand our neighbors and to accept them as they are, not as we want them to be.
Bless us with kindness. Bless us with courage. Bless us with compassion. Bless us with community.
Bless us with the fire of commitment to walk through difficult times together, even when members of our own communities say we should not befriend others who are different.
This we ask in the name of all that is light and love, glorious and good. So may it be and Amen.