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By Kathy Galloway, in Maker's Blessing (Wild Goose Publications/The Iona Community, 2000),

The spirit of this poem speaks to the spirit of this workshop, albeit in theist language. Use of this poem may spark dialogue, which in turn may surface interesting conversation about issues of racial/ethnic identity and theological journeys.

God beyond borders

we bless you for strange places

and different dreams


for the demands and diversity

of a wider world


for the distance

that lets us look back and re-evaluate


for new ground

where the broken stems can take root,

grow and blossom.


We bless you

for the friendship of strangers

the richness of other cultures

and the painful gift of freedom


Blessed are you,

God beyond borders.


But if we have overlooked

the exiles in our midst

heightened their exclusion

by our indifference

given our permission

for a climate of fear

and tolerated a culture of violence


Have mercy on us,

God who takes side with justice,

confront our prejudice

stretch our narrowness

sift out our laws and our lives

with the penetrating insight

of your spirit

until generosity is our only measure.

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