Invocation for Orlando City Council

Several weeks ago, I joyfully accepted an invitation to offer the invocation at Orlando City Council today, Earth Day. I did not know at the time that it would be a more complicated day. Here are my words:

Invocation for Orlando City Council
April 22, 2013
Rev. Kathy Schmitz, First Unitarian Church of Orlando

Mr. Mayor, Commissioners, Guests,

I invite you to join me in a spirit of prayer and reflection.

Spirit of Life & Love, Spirit of Peace & Justice,

As we gather today at the beginning of a new week, we look back on the week now past,
a week that has been challenging for many, if not all, of us.

We review the constellation of emotions that have weighed on our hearts
and been expressed by our lips… horror and outrage, grief and bewilderment.

The explosion of bombs at the Boston Marathon made us look at many things in new ways.

Those who serve and lead in any city, asked ourselves, “what if,”
… and we allowed our hearts to break open with compassion.

We are reminded once again of how very much we need one another.

We saw the courage of first responders… the commitment and skill of law enforcement and of medical staff …  We saw the strength of a community. We saw a city, and commonwealth, a country, and a world, look for, and find, the best in each other.

And we were reminded once again of how very tender and yet powerful is the human spirit.

May we remember this well as we move into the days and weeks ahead.
… a time of healing and new understanding.

May we resist the urge to imagine that we know more than we really do.
May we keep our hearts and our minds open.
May we remember that across our city and around our world,
there are people of peace, justice, and good will to be found in every faith tradition.

And on this Earth Day, especially, may we remember
that we are one human community on this beautiful blue-green planet that we share.

Let us look into the eyes of our family and friends, our coworkers and neighbors
… those who we know well and those who are still strangers to us. May we know our common humanity.

And with this knowing,
may our service to this community helps us always to be better citizens of the world
and may we, and the city we serve, be a gift to residents and guests alike and a blessing to the world.

Let us pause now in silence so that each may add the prayers of their hearts in accordance with their own custom.


Spirit of Life & Love, Spirit of Peace & Justice,
Be with us in all we do.
Blessed Be, Namaste, Asalam Alaikum, Ashe, Shalom, Amen

This entry was posted in 1U congregation, Central Florida, Current Events, Diversity, Life's Challenges and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Invocation for Orlando City Council

  1. Dayle Steakley says:

    Rev. Kathy, You have taken a horrible situation, the Boston Marathon Bombing, and found a way to remind everyone of our collective goodness. Although you did not intend to, I believe that this will make you a leader in the Central Florida faith community. I hope I can speak for 1U when I say that we are fortunate and grateful that you are a First Unitarian.
    hUUgs and smiles with a touched heart,
    Dayle Steakley

  2. sandra cawthern says:

    I think of how many times I have wanted to hear everyone included….thank you

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