I am a parish minister currently serving the Eliot Church of Natick MA. Eliot Church is a Community Church affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. Any statements made and postions held in "Unity," however, are solely mine(of course, they may be used with appropriate atribution). Therefore if you disagree, please do not blame the church!

Thursday, January 20, 2005

My Inaugural Day Prayer (sort of)

Well, its the big day! Our leaders have gathered in the frozen tundra of our nation's capital to witness the second swearing in of President G.W. Bush. I believe even the Mayor and the Governor (Menino and Romney, that is) will be there after having returned home to squash the "bomb scare" rumor of '05. Seriously, I appreciate it. One of the interesting things about this time we live in is the tendency for rumors to proliferate and for paranoia to reign. Before 9/11 we would all start some goofy thing about Ben Affleck. Now, our "not quite news" is a bit more life and death (sorry Ben)...

The president has a tough job and I wish him well. I really do. I hope that he and our leaders can find an effective resolution to the Iraq conflict. I pray that the elections held there are fair, powerful and effective in bringing that country some sense of stability. True, I disagree with practically every point on the president's foreign and domestic policy agenda. Still, I will pray for him today. A member of one of my former churches urged me to do so four years ago. She was a member of the Green Party. However, she felt that the nation needed all the help it could get. It still does. The president may not like your prayer, but you can still pray for him and against his policies (or just for him, if you wish). After all, we need to foster respect among those who disagree.

If I were asked to deliver the prayer at the inauguration, I don't think it would be filled with too much flag-waving or national self-congratulation. This is a great country, yes, and I am proud to be an American. Yet, I do not think that God is any more with us than with the Iraqis we claim as enemies or the French who we apparently do not know what to do with. All of us--that is, every nation and individual--need to pray for understanding and for real peace based on respect and equality.

Here is my prayer for today. I wrote it some time ago in honor of the Million Mom March and have used it many times since.

For the Peaceful
Rev. Adam Tierney-Eliot

This is not the day our swords become plowshares
This is not the day we leave our shields by the riverside
This is not the day we all hold hands and sing one song
This is not the day our streets become safe
That our children need not fear
(That we need not fear for them)
This is not the day that all will give according to their gifts
And receive according to their need

This is not that day
And we are sorry
Dear God we are sorry
For all the weapons we take up
Against our neighbors
For acts of fear
And hate
For missed opportunities for peace
And we ask for your forgiveness

But rest assured that the day will come
And we will march, walk, and crawl
We will stand-up
We will sing and shout
As long as we have strength
As long as we have voices
As long as we have vision, faith, hope, and love

To make it so, to make it be