A Prayer for General Conference 2016

Christ of creation and legislation,
who appoints seasons of rest and days to labor,
who watches and waits, sees and acts,
We are here.

We recall your influence consistently working for good in ways that are not always obvious.
We recognize your persuasive presence more real than what we choose to see.
We remember that hope is real and this world's power concedes nothing without a demand.
We rejoice in our freedom to respond yes to your invitation. 

God, as we have spent countless hundreds of hours preparing the way,
for events to unfold in Portland at The United Methodist General Conference,
remind us that while General Conference is now the next thing it is certainly not the last thing
and that our vocation is the first thing:
to inspire and to agitate, to mend and to heal, to dignify and to advocate,
to proclaim the good news of life over death.  

God, in the long days and nights ahead provide us with clear-eyed perspective,
fix our minds-eye on an horizon beyond petty or proud deliberations,
distracting myths that pose as truth, wayward decisions and grand negotiations,
center our heart and will for this time on habits which make for real peace.
    
Forgive us when we acquiesce to anything less than your inclusive love and solidarity and respect for all and guide and guard our disposition with you, with one another, with strangers and with friends, that we may keep comity among all.  
  
And as we now hold these simple beads as sacraments of purpose,
as we touch tangible signs of what is possible when spirit and intention unite,
with each breadth make us aware of those whom we will accompany on this journey to General Conference:
the water, the land, the air,
colleagues, coworkers, friends,
women, children and men whose desire bonds to loose, silence, violence,  oppression and to stop,
We name aloud the people and places where your presence will make a difference... 

Christ of creation and legislation,
Bless those who travel.
Bless those who remain in this place.
Bless our loved ones.
And may those for whom love is a stranger find in us kind and generous friends. Amen