I invite you now into a quiet time, a time for spoken and silent contemplation.
Spirit of Life, we have come into each other's presence this day
seeking a part of ourselves, knowing that we do not live alone,
and knowing we cannot live fully if we are for ourselves alone.
We gather in thanks for the life and ministry of Martin Luther King Jr.,
not because we wish to worship him as a saint,
but because we wish to embody his dream as a possibility we make real.
We gather with full knowledge of our shortcomings.
Our lives set before us many tasks and often we are not equal to them.
We fall short of our own expectations.
We find we do not know enough, we are not always patient, we fall into anger,
we cannot find the strength, we lack the vision, we wait in vain for wisdom.
It is painful to acknowledge our shortcomings — yet we are here, Spirit of Life.
We are here: not always perfect, not always wise, not always just,
but wonderfully and mysteriously human and alive.
We dedicate this time together to renewing our hope.
May the stories we share give us courage.
May the songs we sing give us hope.
May the words we speak give us wisdom.
And most of all, may the touch of hands, the sight of faces,
the sound of voices lifted in song and affirmation restore in us
faith that this world may be made whole, with all its people one.