July, 2017

         By the time you receive this issue of the Scribe, you will probably be preparing to
celebrate the Fourth of July. So I thought I’d pass along a prayer that you might want to
make a part of your celebration. The words come mostly from one of my favorite authors.
Added to his words are words that come from an inscription on the Statue of Liberty as
well as from the Sermon on the Mount. Together I think they make for a prayer of
thanksgiving and hope that we all of us could pray, perhaps even should pray.

          O Lord our God, from the sprawling, opulent South
                                                        of the stark red earth and lazy skies,
                                         to the lonely beauty of New England
                                                          with its prim certainty of neat white houses and stone fences,
                   to the sweep of the Middle West
                                                             with little towns set amidst vast and rich prairies,
             to the majestic mountains of the West
                       and the brash glitter of the brawling coast,
                                                               this great nation stretches,
                                                                                              awesome and free.

              And we give you thanks, O Lord!

                       We thank you for all the blessings
                                                you have bestowed upon this land.

                        We thank you for delivering us again and again
                                                  from all our great follies
                                                          and in your mercy
                                                              giving us tomorrows that need not have been.

                        We thank you for those who struggled to establish our freedom,
                                                 those who sacrificed to preserve it,
                                                                  and those who continue to hold before us
                                                                               the vision of what we are at our best —
                                  a nation that gives a home and hope to
                                                         the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning
                                                                                                        to be free,
                                                                   the wretched and tempest-tost seeking
                                                                                    a safe shore;
                                             a land offering opportunity and
                                                                                                   new possibility;
                                                       a people who will not rest until there’s justice for all.

                   And we pray that you would continue to grace us with

                              the faith that overcomes the fear
                                        that keeps us from being our best — the fear
                                                  that fuels prejudice and drives goodness
                                                            and kindness and generosity
                                                                    of spirit from us;

                               the wisdom to find compassionate solutions
                                        to the problems that so challenge and
                                                 plague us;

                              the courage to stand with the least and the lost,
                                       the meek and the merciful,
                                               with all who are so dear to you,
                                                         and to stand against evil in all its forms;

                               the will to heal all that divides us as a people,
                                       to end hunger in this land of plenty,
                                                 to cherish the land and preserve
                                                         its beauty;

                                 and the strength of purpose
                                                                                       to be a beacon
                                                                   of light and hope
                                                          to the world.


                                                                                                                       God be with you,


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