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Eternal God, Mother and Father, Spirit of life,

Eternal God, Mother and Father, Spirit of life, we gather grateful for the companionship of hearts and minds seeking to speak the truth in love. We gather grateful for our heritage, for the women and men before us whose prophetic words and deeds make possible our dreams and our insight. We gather grateful for the gift of life itself, mindful that to respect life means both to celebrate what life is and to insist on what it can become.

May we always rejoice in life and work to cultivate a sense of its giftedness, but may we also heed the call to transformation and growth. May we find in ourselves the strength to face our adversities, the integrity to name them, and the vision to overcome them. May we honor in pride the heroines and heroes of our past, but may we also keep company with the fallen, the broken and the oppressed, for in the dazzling of noon day's heat, and in the star-studded shimmering of night's rich blackness, we are they. Amen.