On Saturday, October 19, UUCWC had the great honor of co-hosting a fundraising event for LALDEF, the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund. With the vision and implementation of our Faith Action Ministry and a larger team, too, this night was a beautiful success in which relationship, education, and support all flourished. I was grateful to participate and have since been asked for the prayer I offered at the close of the presentation.
With care for each of you, and in deep appreciation for your ministries,
Good evening. I am Rev. Kim Wildszewski. It is my privilege to serve this congregation and it has been my joy to see this building used in such a beautiful way tonight. Thank you. It matters that you were here and it matters what we’ve done here together tonight.
Gracias. Importa que hayan estado aquí y lo que hayamos hecho juntos esta noche.
We have offered prayers and blessings in my ways tonight – from setting the table and setting the sanctuary, in hopes that these seats would be filled to the gift of sharing food, and sharing the good, necessary, works of LALDEF, to sharing in community. As we come near the end of our time together tonight, I ask that you join me for prayer once again, meditation, or open-hearted reflection on this evening of which you’ve been a part.
Le pido que se une conmigo para orar una vez más.
God of our first breath
Spirit that travels among us
Holy & Beautiful that draws us together
There has been joy in our coming together!
The sweet awkward exchanges that make unknown words
Delicious instead of Dangerous
The way our children find their way into play
While we adults work so earnestly to hide our imperfections
The way all bodies must move to the sound of guitar and drums
A reminder that these bodies do speak the same ancestral language
The sight of Beloved Community – may it one day be so –
All at the crowded table
where there is always still room for more.
Yes there has been joy tonight
And learning, and trust,
May we stay for a moment to honor the risk –
Not the kind that comes in meeting a stranger, or hoping we will each say the right thing
But risk that if we stay on it too long
can make the spirit keel over in pain
Risk to commune, to celebrate, to come out into the day to day of simply living
While our leaders – or so their titles say – find every way to grow fear
That even this
Should be cause for punishment.
So, Yes: joy tonight. And learning and trust
but also risk and so there is within this prayer
and among this people –
a heavy dose of lamentation, too.
Of grief, a well of sadness that we are trying desperately to fill –
bucket by bucket –
with some creative assemblance of hope.
And as such we are told we are doing something radical here tonight.
Something resistant. Something bold.
This sharing a meal,
Sharing our resources,
Setting a table and setting expectations
for how we can find one another
In the chaos of this world.
And perhaps they are right.
But I am so weary that such things require such bravery.
And I am so tired of being afraid of other humans.
The habits by which we divide ourselves are depleting. Are terrifying.
We have wasted so much time putting up our little flags
And drawing borders while the birds fly to and fro.
We have spent generations offended by someone else’s name for God,
Someone else’s songs of love
Someone else’s skin or eyes or hair or strength.
My spirit is parched by this isolation.
Spirit of Mercy, find your way to us.
Move within our habitual hearts, and these minds that love all things
familiar and sanitized by sameness
To make tonight’s event into a relationship.
To grow within us a craving to find one another again.
To move beyond facebook posts or the low bar expectation of voting by values
And help us
Whose risk is small to become not allies but advocates
And help us
Whose risk is unbearable
To know the work of prayer as the power of this people
In part, gathered here
There was too much beauty to return to fear.
For the cooks, and the musicians, the babysitters and the ones that make the microphones work
For the first friendship that envisioned a larger relationship
And the first person who invited the next
For the want to be here
And the want to be here together better
For the lawyers and their resilience
For those they serve and their hopes for safe keeping
For all the things that made tonight possible
And all the ways we’ve prayed
By word or song or presence
We give thanks and turn our hearts to tomorrow together
May we say
Damos gracias y entregamos nuestros corazones al futuro Y ahora podemos decir Amén.