Monday, May 30, 2016

Make Us Bold in Loving

A Prayer at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery
Santa Cruz, California
Dave Grishaw-Jones (Peace United Church)

God of wind and fog, Spirit in great green trees,
Holy Spark of Life in every being and, yes, Being itself:
We praise you, we thank you
for this holy place of resting and remembering and being.
We praise you, we thank you
for the beauty here, and the peace here,
and for all those friends who’ve worked tirelessly
through the years to make it a place
of resting and remembering and loving.
We gather here this sweet May morning,
and we know that this is holy ground.

God of our ancestors, God of all ancestors,
God of the tribes and nations and wise souls
who have called this very ground sacred and holy:
We remember today all those who have lived
and served and given their lives that peace might prevail.
We gather them up in our hearts, in our memories now.
We thank you for their courage and devotion,
for their lives and their hearts and their holy days.

God of all peoples, all the peoples who ever were,
and all of us now, and all the peoples who ever will be:
We pray today for grace, for humility and for courage.
We pray today for the nation we love,
for our leaders, for our public servants of all kinds,
for our teachers at all levels, for all of us together.
Make us bold in loving one another.
Make us brave in serving one another.
Make us wildly creative in pursuing the common good.

God of the living and the dead,
Help us in all things to honor those who’ve died,
Those who’ve made loving sacrifices of many kinds.
Help us to honor their gifts
as we teach our children the things that make for peace.
Help us to honor their lives
as we show our children the sacred good in all beings.
Help us to honor their spirits
as we sing our children love songs
that bring hope to their human hearts.

We pray in your great spirit,
We pray in your many, many names,
We pray in humility around all we cannot know for certain,
And we pray in commitment to the holy ground
and the holy memories and the holy lives
we remember this day.
Amen and amen.

Great-Great-Grandfather John H. Woodbury, killed at Spotsylvania, May 19, 1864.