Offered at AKIN Annual Meeting, July 8, 2016
Rev. Jim Sessions
God of the journey, God of the traveler,
We pray for those across the world who leave their homes to escape from many dangers and in hope of new beginnings. May they know your steady presence with them.
For those who seek to make a home here in our own country, we pray that they may find us welcoming and willing to help them find a path toward full and just belonging.
We pray for “the American people,” as we sometimes call ourselves, that we may begin to understand more deeply the ways we are related, as family, to all the peoples of all the Americas – and all the world.
We pray that our elected officials, as they govern our localities, states and nation, may find the wisdom and the courage to adopt new policies that bring greater fairness, security and well-being to all of us. May they come to realize that healthy democratic communities can never be built on scapegoating or oppression.
We pray for those who fan the flames of fear and discrimination against immigrants or refugees, that their hearts may be touched with compassion and their minds may be opened to a larger view.
And finally we pray for those gathered in this room tonight, those of all faiths, and those of none. Despite the clouds that gather in stormy seasons such as this one – from Washington, D.C. to the Arizona desert, from the streets of Dallas to those of Ferguson, from the skies of Syria to the neighborhoods of Knoxville – we pray that we ourselves may leave tonight with hope, energy and grace for all the work that lies ahead. May we find courage and wisdom equal to the tasks we face, as we know also the joy of standing with others in the cause of justice and peace.