In this place made holy by many generations who gathered before us,
We turn our attention to that which is Sacred.
In this religious community made holy
by the dedication of the spiritual ancestors who came before us,
the trust of the children among us,
and the promise of generations who will follow us,
we give thanks–
for the leaders, musicians, teachers, preachers, artists, and change agents
who helped shape our world today.
We lift up our hearts in gratitude for the ministry
of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Even though 47 years have past, we mourn his life violently cut short.
We wish he were alive to continue his prophetic ministry,
To organize non-violent direct action,
To speak truth to power,
To expose the triple evils of Poverty, Racism, and War
that exist today in a vicious cycle
and stand as barriers to our living the Beloved Community.
In the Spirit of Dr. King, who we honor with a national holiday,
Let us not only celebrate his message one day or one weekend a year,
Instead, may we recommit ourselves to the Freedom Movement.
May we recognize that “Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people”.
In our own times, may we “seek to win friendship and understanding;”
May we “seek to defeat injustice, not people;”
“Nonviolence holds that suffering can educate and transform.”
Let us “choose Love instead of hate”
And be steadfast in our belief that “the universe is on the side of justice”.
Today we join our prayers with people of every color and creed,
May our religion, our faith, be a source of strength and vulnerability,
So that we may continue the long march toward Freedom.
–Rev. Amy Freedman
[This prayer was inspired by “Six Principles of Nonviolence” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.]