Blessing of Hurricane Katrina Convoy Participants: A Sending-Forth Ritual for Gulf Coast Volunteers

Voice 1: Go forth in solidarity

Voice 2: Your presence in [destination] is a clear statement to the residents: they are not alone; you stand with them in their struggle. Know also that all of [your congregation] stands with you.

Voice 1: Go forth in justice

Voice 2: The inherent dignity and worth of our Gulf Coast brothers and sisters have been trampled on—your work boldly continues the effort to restore their lives and their spirits.

Voice 1: Go forth in love

Voice 2: Giving days of your life to others without expectation of recompense is an act of pure love. Know that we lift up that love and reflect it also upon you.

Voice 1: Go forth in strength

Voice 2: Your body and spirit face tough days ahead. The work is physically exhausting; the experience is spiritually exhausting. Take care of your selves, and let us take care of you when you return.

Voice 1: Return with renewal

Voice 2: You will live and work with people whose homes have been destroyed, whose jobs have been destroyed, whose world has been destroyed . . . and who still fight to rebuild their lives. May their strength inspire you as you face the struggles of your daily life. May your stories inspire us all as we face the struggles of our lives.

Voice 1: Return with hope

Voice 2: The restoration of the battered coast lands began before you and will continue after you—you are each one of many across this nation whose compassion will rebuild a region.

Voice 1: Return with truth

Voice 2: One person can make a dent, one group can make difference, one church has the capacity to change the world.

Blessed be. Amen.

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