(The view from the writer’s cabin at Cathedral Ridge)
The Opening Prayer – The 2014 Annual Meeting
The Cathedral of Saint John in the Wilderness, Denver, Colorado
Lover of our souls;
We, your beloved people, come to you now
After a hard year of life, love, leadership and liturgy.
We gather, huddled, tired, successful, failed and rejoicing in the tent-of-worship; pitched in this city by generations before us.
We thank you for the hard work, passionate creativity and money that we have inherited for ministry to the poor in body, mind and spirit.
We are a family. And like any family we have our ups and our downs; our characters and our matriarchs; our servants and our misfits which make life so wonderful to live.
We are messy, marvelous people who follow Jesus as best we can; trying to model our lives on the courage of John of the wildernesses and John the Evangelist, Mary the God-bearer and Mary the first Apostle, Francis the lover of the poor and Martin the lover of souls.
And so as we gather to celebrate, discern and hope. We welcome you as Holy Spirit.
We wonder at your ability to topple our tawdry towers of ecclesial pride with such gentleness; bringing us always to the cross where you teach us as much humility as we are willing to learn; and to the table where a simple meal is always set for us.
Guide our hearts, soothe our vanities, whisper love to our pride, squeeze our hands with a measure of courage, kiss our cheek with the assurance that we are loved and even liked.
And in your most gracious favor, grant us your peace. Amen