Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog


Invocation for Post-Election Political Party Meeting

Background:

I minister to (and strive to be inclusive of) people of all political affiliations, and my congregation is non-partisan.  Yet on many issues of stewardship, social justice and fairness I am engaged with Democratic activists and campaigns. Also, I am a member of a local Democratic club.   I was invited to give an invocation at the start of the General Session of the California Democratic Party’s Executive Committee members, which includes about four party officials from every county. The parliamentarian, an elderly gentleman in a bow tie and glasses, told me afterward that he had heard many invocations and that he considered mine to be one of the best ones in content, while all of the invocations have been excellent in intent. I saw a few former acquaintances from Santa Clara County and my church had a follow-up visit by a young adult whom I spoke with. The best part of this experience was that people actually listened. A few years ago, I did an invocation for the start of a Santa Clara County Supervisors’ meeting on a Tuesday afternoon, and they weren’t really paying attention.   Indeed, the supervisor whose office had invited me to go there was not present to introduce me, and she showed up mid-way through my remarks.  An honor like that, I can do without in the future, even if it means I won’t be seen on local-access cable TV. But this political meeting was quite different, and I was glad to be there.

Invocation
Meeting of California Democratic Party Executive Committee
Saturday morning, November 20, 2010, Sacramento, CA

Good morning, and welcome to Sacramento. It’s good to be with you.
Please join me for a moment of centering and some words of intention.

Take a moment and take a deep breath, and let it out. Notice your breathing, and notice your feet on the floor and your bodies in the chairs.
Let us pray. Holy one, spirit of life and of love, as we gather we give thanks for the gift of life, and the gift of this new day. For the blessing of this community of colleagues, allies, friends, and extended family, we give thanks. For generations of men and women on whose brave and strong shoulders we now stand, we give thanks.
In the wake of the November elections, let us give thanks for all those who offered themselves for public service and opened their lives to scrutiny, and thanks for the days worked, dollars given, miles walked, and the hours of sleep sacrificed by the candidates, their families, friends, volunteers, staff and allies. We celebrate with all who won election. To those near and far disappointed by outcomes of general or primary elections, we extend words and gestures of understanding, reassurance, and care. For putting their hearts into their campaigns, we extend our thanks and our fellowship.
May all be blessed first, with times of rest and reflection, and then, with a new sense of purpose and vision. Perhaps among us are those who felt betrayed or let down by others, or by themselves, in recent campaigns. Perhaps among us are some who feel our own words or deeds have not reflected the best of who we are as people, and who we aspire to be. Indeed, in life most of us fall short of our convictions. We let one another down, or let ourselves down. May we receive a measure of humility and forgiveness, and may provide us with a new chance, a fresh beginning in the days and months ahead.
As we gather today, let our minds extend beyond these walls to all those who are vulnerable and all who need our support and advocacy: children and families, people without enough to eat or a home, people suffering afflictions of body, mind or spirit, those who are victims of racism, sexism, homophobia, poverty and all other forms of violence. We extend our thanks for those who help others and those make our local communities more livable and safe. Let our care extend around the globe to zones of war, occupation, and oppression. We pray for the safety of all now serving abroad, and we pray peace for all who call such places home.
As the work of this meeting begins, we invoke the commitments that call us into service and sustain us through times of challenge as well as times of joy: the values of freedom and fairness, civic duty and personal responsibility; stewardship of the natural world, compassion, understanding and inclusiveness; and the values of dignity and respect for all members of the human family.

We are drawn together this day by our love of this party, of California, of this country, and of its people. We are drawn together today by visions of a better world and by hope and care for the generations that will come after us. We are drawn together for good work and worthy purposes.

So may it be.
In the names of all that we call holy, Amen.

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