Crazy Busy

Church and State

Here in Vacationland, local clergy are invited to pray at the opening  of the State Senate each morning when they are in session.

I’m going today (because apparently I have nothing else to do).

Actually, I’m going because some of my treasured early memories involve visiting the floor of another State Senate, the one in the Commonwealth of my birth, with my father, who was a State Senator for some years before making the move to the bigger Senate in the City on the Potomac. When I later worked in the U.S. Senate Library, tucked away in the Capitol itself, I found the presence of a Senate Chaplain fascinating.

Here is an excerpt from the guidelines I received for this morning:

Out of respect for the diversity of religious beliefs of the Senators, please offer a prayer that is non-sectarian and non-political. A brief inspirational message to guide the members through their deliberations would be appreciated.

It’s my recollection from doing this once before that no one is paying a whole lot of attention to this inspirational message, but here goes:

Divine Source of all Love, Peace and Wisdom, we call out to you this morning. We ask for your guidance in the work of the day. Open our hearts and expand our minds with your presence. May our work be done with concern for those who are weakest and respect for those places where needs are greatest. Focus our eyes and tune our ears to perceive the eternal truths that never fail to guide us on the right paths. Help us to be good stewards of this Earth, and of the special resources of this beautiful and bountiful state of _____, we pray. Amen.

9 thoughts on “Church and State”

  1. What a wonderful prayer to open the day! May the Spirit (who is indeed non-sectarian) be with you.

  2. Oh, Songbird, that’s wonderful.
    While you are in your legislature today, I’ll be in mine. The prayer there will be offered by a member of the legislature who prays every day always makes me uncomfortable. He often prays for our traditional way of life to be preserved, or for the safety of children (born and unborn), or for protection against threats to family stability. (Once, I swear, he prayed for protection against me and my ilk.)
    Your prayers for guidance, wisdom, open-mindedness and concern for others are wonderful and much-needed in legislatures everywhere. Thank you.

  3. What a gift you are and what a gift of prayer you offered to your State Senate.
    I have never been asked to do that although LH has.
    I am asked to have devotions with the local school board about once a year.
    Thank you, Rev. Songbird

  4. Very nice prayer.
    On occasions, I do the same thing in the Burg. I’ve always wanted to add something extremely political and grab hold of the podium when they try to carry me out. I’ll end up screaming partican propaganda as they wrestle my knuckles free of the podium. – Its my favorite fantasy as I sit in the fancy chair and wait to pray.
    More likely, no one will be in the room while I pray and no one will notice. Oh well, they pay well. Same there?

  5. There were lots of people in the room, and it felt very serious and formal. I don’t think I would describe it as paying well, but it certainly covered gas and coffee with a bit left over!

  6. I’m glad you were praying for and with our legislators. I’m seeing some inter-party cooperation things happening, at least in my neck of the woods, which is really encouraging.

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