Invocation to open the 2018 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
UUA President Susan Frederick-Gray tells a story adapted from Paulo Coelho during Sunday morning public worship (© 2018 Nancy Pierce).
The invocation below was offered by UUA President Susan Frederick-Gray at the opening of the 2018 General Assembly in Kansas City, Missouri.
Family of faith, we are gathered here once again, and we begin our gathering by centering ourselves and opening our hearts to one another.
Spirit of Life, we recognize we gather in a time of tremendous heartbreak, where we bring grief, loss, anger, and pain weighing heavy on our hearts and our spirits. We are mindful of the ways that the forces of criminalization are denigrating and dehumanizing lives all over this country and all over the planet.
And it is not right, and it has not been right.
Even as we gather, there were several shootings right here in Kansas City, right here near the convention center; police related shootings, those in Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas.
We gather to call ourselves back to the deepest sources of our humanity, to be nurtured this week by the resources of love and fellowship, the resources of music and song, the resources of joy, which we need to survive and which remind us why we struggle for liberation, for our own and across the world, for the human spirit to be liberated, broken free of the chains of oppression.
Spirit of Life, gather us together as a family of care and safety and in joy. May we be renewed and strengthened through you this gathering, that we may keep showing up faithfully each day, answering the call to love, answering the call of our values.
It is good to be together. May we be nourished by this community and our faith, just as we are nourished by this Earth and the resources on which we depend for life.
Blessed be and Amen.
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The Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray is the ninth president of the Unitarian Universalist Association. She was elected in June 2017 to a six-year term after serving congregations in Phoenix, Arizona; Youngstown, Ohio; and Nashville, Tennessee. She lives with her husband, the Rev. Brian Frederick-Gray, and their son.