Wednesday, January 21, 2009

RE: Warren's Inaugural Prayer

I thought Warren was a little Jesus heavy at the end which i was afraid might insult Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, or others. But otherwise, it did seem to be a slightly uncomfortable but perhaps sincere attempt at being inclusive and fair. It was a moment in time and it passed (mercifully) quickly. I was much more impressed with Rev. Lowery's benediction. Though, truth be told, I would be pleased if secular events remained secular without the staged prayers, or if we would at least include clergy other than Protestant Christians. Perhaps one day, a Rabbi or Imam might be included. As a person of faith, I personally am praying for our new president and we pray for whoever is in office in our liturgy at church, but at the state events, maybe the most inclusive act would be leave religion to the houses of worship and simply let occasions of state be just that.

However, using whatever vocabulary, I join with all who wish our new president success, wisdom, safety, good health, and never-failing commitment to peace, prosperity, and justice for all.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Prayer for New President

Infinite Compassion/Universal Hope/Abiding Peace/Unconditional Love/God:

In the United States we have witnessed the inauguration of the 44th U.S. president. He is the fifth youngest U.S. president. He is the first African-American U.S. president. And he is the duly elected leader of our nation. We wish him health, joy, strength, and courage as he performs his executive duties.

We pray that he and his family will be kept safe at all times. We ask your divine Wisdom to guide his heart and his actions. We hope that he will prove to be an instrument of your peace, a strong advocate for justice and equality for ALL people, and that he will be part of bringing prosperity to our nation.

May he be a symbol of unity, a voice of reason, a model of integrity, a devotee of hope, and an indefatigable champion of liberty, tolerance, inclusion, and the common good.

God of many names,

You transcend the limits of geographic boundaries, religious institutions, political parties, and human prejudice. With humble gratitude and joyful expectation we now ask you to bless our new president, vice-president, cabinet appointees, and congressional leaders. God bless this nation and every nation, today and always. Amen.

Rev. Durrell Watkins, M.A., M.Div.
Sunshine Cathedral
Fort Lauderdale

Setting Goals

“Let us waste no further time looking for the secret of success or the key to happiness. Already the door is open and whosoever will may enter.” Ernest Holmes

When we think of a great human being, who comes to mind? Mother Teresa? Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? Nelson Mandela? Each was talented and intelligent to be sure; but what seems to be the greatest contributor to the difference these people made is their willingness to give their all to something they believed in. A full commitment to something larger than them is what made these people great.

When we set a clear intention to do something and make a full commitment to it, the Universe seems to conspire with us to guarantee our success! The all-inclusive, interconnecting Spirit of Life is always willing be our partner in any venture that is motivated by goodwill and that is fueled by our clear intention and total commitment.

It is better to set a goal too high and only achieve 80% than to set a goal too low and achieve 100%. The 80% of the grand goal will usually prove to be more than the 100% of a modest goal. Let’s believe in ourselves, set lofty goals, commit to those goals, and trust the Power of Life to support us as we pursue them. We can overcome obstacles and achieve wonderful results in our lives.

Rev. Durrell Watkins, MA, MDiv
Sunshine Cathedral