Our friends at the Schenectady County Human Rights Commission invited Deacon Jim to deliver the invocation at its 31st Annual Awards breakfast on Friday, May 23rd. Deacon Jim offered the following prayer:

Lord, You have called all of us to a path of freedom and justice; a restoration of relationships and the recognition of each person’s human dignity.

Enter into our hearts and minds and enflame our souls to see in each person another self. Grant that we may look past outward appearance to the essential relationships that prevail in Your kingdom. Help us to be more human. Restore and reconcile all relationships and enable us to take up our calling to restore a global human community, a single family fashioned in Your image.

Help us today to recognize and bless all those who have labored so diligently to establish a new equality of participation in our community and across the globe. Bless the work of all who labor to end the sources of human conflict — race, class, wealth, gender, servitude, forced labor, wage theft, military opposition, indebtedness, imprisonment, coercion, despair, anxiety, self-centeredness, alienation, anxiety, greed, separation, prejudice, and injustice— so that we may rise above our baser selves. Fashion us into images of Your Divinity and justice.

Finally grant us a freedom that surpasses personal autonomy and help us to recognize our continuing dependence on You as our Creator and Your call to see each other as another self through lives committed to knowing, loving and serving You and each other. Amen