Spirit of Life, God of Many Names, and One Transforming and Abundant Love, we seek a way forward this day.
We know how easy it is in life to fall into patterns of speaking that see sides all around us;
To fall into patterns of thinking that place us in this camp or that one.
May we not fall into the traps of separateness, of discord, of animosity.
Remind us of the community that we are; a community rooted in hope and love;
A community whose rich history has sought to teach people how to speak the truth in love, to build bridges between divides, and brings us closer to the dream of the Beloved Community.
May we find a way to speak our own difficult truths this afternoon with that spirit of compassion, of kindness and connection.
May our words honor the legacy of community for which this church is named, the legacy of peace our forebears nurtured, and that legacy that has brought us forward to this day.
As we honor the difficult conversations that will come before us, may we also honor the stories of hope and renewal that were, and continue to be, lived by so many around us.
May we allow complexity and difference to speak with one another with forbearance and insight,
ever knowing that our truth is never the only truth to be had.