As we celebrate the inauguration of a new president, what is your prayer for the political world?
David Gardiner - Buddhist
David Gardiner is an associate professor in the Colorado College Religion department, specializing in Buddhism and religions of China and Japan, and is co-founder and director of BodhiMind Center.
“Political” refers to actions well beyond the activities of elected officials, to include all good work that members of a community do to enhance one another’s lives. Thus, “all politics is local.” I pray for more sincere, deep listening. What we hear is conditioned by the sources we choose for information, from electronic and print media to the people with whom we speak. We all have some power to impact our choice of sources to diversify what we can learn. Moreover, we have a responsibility to practice deep listening by temporarily suspending judgment so we can truly learn to understand how other people experience this vast world. I pray that our minds become more still, our ears listen more fully and our hearts expand in compassion accordingly.
Nori Rost – Unitarian Universalist
Rev. Dr. Nori Rost is the minister at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church downtown and has been a community activist in Colorado Springs for 20 years.
The Feast of Epiphany was celebrated on Jan. 6; it marks the day the three magi followed the star to where Jesus lay. Now more than ever people are seeking that star to guide them to sanctuary, to safety. Now more than ever the refugees and wanderers and runaways and thrown-aways are stumbling through the darkness of these hours seeking hope. Now, we are called to be the star that lights their way with our small, brave voices and tiny acts of good. My prayer for 2021 is that we will be that light, that shining star guiding them home. Alone we may not seem like much, but just look how brightly we can light up the sky when we join together in love.
Ahriana Platten - New Thought – Unity
Dr. Ahriana Platten is founder-executive director of In Good Faith, leads Unity Spiritual Center and speaks around the country on the topics of interfaith and intercultural understanding.
Simply put, my prayer is that we find common ground. Politicians have driven a wedge between us. Right and left, Republican and Democrat, conservative and progressive. We’re deeply entrenched in an “us and them” way of thinking. We cannot bridge our differences by focusing on the areas in which we disagree. First, we must find our common ground, identify what we can agree on, and work together in those areas. As we get to know each other again, we will begin to care about each other and see each other as friends. Once we are friends again, we can move tenderly into the areas of disagreement — with concern for each other. Together, we can explore our history, re-envision our future and heal political wounds.
Alycia Erickson - Christian
Rev. Alycia Erickson, pastor of Pikes Peak Metropolitan Community Church, has a passion for working with the LGBTQ and straight communities.
Holy One, in the year ahead help me reckon with how power is used and abused in our country. Grant me clarity to discern what is mine to do. Stir me from complacency where I have privilege. Give me the strength and courage to stand with those who speak truth to power, and to stand against abuse of power. Open my heart to all who suffer, and my eyes to the ways my actions contribute to suffering. Help me understand differences as gifts, not polarities. Prevent me from seeking false unity and harmony at the cost of truth and honesty. Help me to walk through Your world with compassion. Show me Your way of love and grant me the grace each day to walk in it. Amen.
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