On this both joyous and solemn day we have reason to celebrate; we have reason to be grateful; we have reason to be proud. We gather in the shadow of a world unsure of itself, of plans for peace lost in the plague of ambition, of a planet under threat. And yet, we have cause to be hopeful.
Our forebears have given us an example of perseverance in the face of uncertainties, of hope in the face of difficulties. This church was gathered that they might have a place to come to be together to share their hopes and their faith. It is today the church that they envisioned, but with a wider vision and perhaps a wider, if not stronger hope.
The problems of the days of our founders were hazardous but not overwhelming to a determined people; the problems we are called upon to deal with in these times are indeed difficult, but not beyond our capacities to deal with.
Our hope lies not only in the inner strength that our religion teaches us to nurture, but also in the example of those who went before to show us the way. They built a church for us, and it is ours to hand on to our children and to their children.
May the light of reason, the comfort of kindness, the depth of a growing spiritual life, the outreach of action, and the acceptance of our own goodness and potential always be our inspiration and the source of our continuing gratitude to our founders and to those who have carried the torch that we hold high.