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Invocation -- Oregon House of Representatives
June 2001

Great Spirit of the Universe, who has shone from the stars and twirled with the planets since the beginning of time, who swam with the salmon and soared with the eagle long before civilization was born, who walked with Native peoples in this land for centuries, who sailed across the oceans with explorers and pilgrims to this country, and who crossed the mountains with the pioneers to this place.  You have brought us together, fish and fowl, native and settler, farmer and farm workers, blue collar and white collar, Republican and Democrat, Jew, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist, people of many faiths and no faith, but all with a heritage that brings us together in this time and place.

Creator of all living things, help us to learn how to live together as one community for the good of all.  Inconceivable as it seems in this lush land, when water is in short supply and we are faced with choices between farm and fish, give us wisdom to choose not in the interest of a few, but of the whole, including future generations who will also farm these lands, fish these rivers and enjoy the beauty of your mountains, forests and valleys. Help us to see that the most important decisions we make are not about our livelihood or our economies, but our existence as a peaceful society that must live in harmony with our neighbors and our environment if we are to live at all.

Governor of all things good, bless these legislators gathered here this day, may they not only represent the interests of those who placed them in office, but also those who have no voice in public affairs, those who lack shelter and adequate health insurance, those who lack means to pay huge increases in their energy bills, those who labor in our fields but who lack the right to organize for collective bargaining.  I pray especially for those walking for farm worker justice, concluding here outside these walls on June 24.  For ultimately it is how we treat the least of these that is the measure by which the greatness of a society is determined and we are judged in the end of time.  When this day is done and this session ends, may we look back and say, your Spirit was with us this day.  Amen.

Daniel E. H. Bryant
First Christian Church
Eugene, Oregon


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