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Sunday, January 18, 2009

+Gene Goes to Washington - Prays

Bishop Gene Robinson is in Washington, D.C. to deliver the inaugural prayer before tomorrow's festivities begin. I understand it will be carried FREE on HBO, so tune in, sisters and brothers, and watch the fun.

No promise that they will include +Gene's prayer, which is appended below. As +Gene points out, it IS Entertainment.

You can follow his adventure on his blog here. It's the same url as the one he used this summer at what I fondly called, "Lambeth for the Rest of Us."

Here's a snipett: It's very early on Sunday morning. The quiet outside belies the exuberance that promises to explode today here in Washington.

This new "chapter" in my "Canterbury Tales from the Fringe" blog needs to be renamed, of course. It could be "Mr. Robinson goes to Washington," or "Oh my God! How did I ever get to this moment?" Instead, I'm calling it "Washington Tales from Closer to the Center." After the experience of being on the fringe in Canterbury this summer, I am struck that the new President of the United States is including me in a way the Anglican Communion was not able to this summer. Funny, isn't it, and sad, that the culture is modeling for the Church the inclusion meant for all of God's children.

And, from the Diocese of New Hampshire's web page:

A Prayer for the Nation and Our Next President, Barack Obama
By The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of
New Hampshire

Opening Inaugural Event
Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC
January 18, 2009

Welcome to Washington! The fun is about to begin, but first, please join me in pausing for a moment, to ask God's blessing upon our nation and our next president.

O God of our many understandings, we pray that you will…

Bless us with tears – for a world in which over a billion people exist on less than a dollar a day, where young women from many lands are beaten and raped for wanting an education, and thousands die daily from malnutrition, malaria, and AIDS.

Bless us with anger – at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Bless us with discomfort – at the easy, simplistic "answers" we've preferred to hear from our politicians, instead of the truth, about ourselves and the world, which we need to face if we are going to rise to the challenges of the future.

Bless us with patience – and the knowledge that none of what ails us will be "fixed" anytime soon, and the understanding that our new president is a human being, not a messiah.

Bless us with humility – open to understanding that our own needs must always be balanced with those of the world.

Bless us with freedom from mere tolerance – replacing it with a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences, and an understanding that in our diversity, we are stronger.

Bless us with compassion and generosity – remembering that every religion's God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable in the human community, whether across town or across the world.

And God, we give you thanks for your child Barack, as he assumes the office of President of the United States.

Give him wisdom beyond his years, and inspire him with Lincoln's reconciling leadership style, President Kennedy's ability to enlist our best efforts, and Dr. King's dream of a nation for ALL the people.

Give him a quiet heart, for our Ship of State needs a steady, calm captain in these times.

Give him stirring words, for we will need to be inspired and motivated to make the personal and common sacrifices necessary to facing the challenges ahead.

Make him color-blind, reminding him of his own words that under his leadership, there will be neither red nor blue states, but the United States.

Help him remember his own oppression as a minority, drawing on that experience of discrimination, that he might seek to change the lives of those who are still its victims.

Give him the strength to find family time and privacy, and help him remember that even though he is president, a father only gets one shot at his daughters' childhoods.

And please, God, keep him safe. We know we ask too much of our presidents, and we're asking FAR too much of this one. We know the risk he and his wife are taking for all of us, and we implore you, O good and great God, to keep him safe. Hold him in the palm of your hand – that he might do the work we have called him to do, that he might find joy in this impossible calling, and that in the end, he might lead us as a nation to a place of integrity, prosperity and peace.



June Butler said...

I watched the whole ceremony on HBO, and Bp. Gene's prayer was not shown. I was quite disappointed.

VTcrone said...

Mimi is quite right. I recorded he special from 2:30-4:30, while watching part of it live, and then afterwards slowing forwarding the entire program, and there was no sign of +Gene. HBO will be repeating the free show at least 2 more times tonight. However, since it was already recorded, I'm sure it will been shown as previously edited.

Did anyone ever come up with a alternative Inauguration invocation or should we just print and read Bishop Gene's when Rick Warren appears?

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

I was out so I missed the first go. I plan to catch it later tonight. I'm disappointed but not surprised they didn't show +Gene's prayer. It is, after all, entertainment.

JCF said...

I was going back and forth between CNN and MSNBC (MSNBC actually billed +Gene as being on at "about 2:20"). One of these networks (can't remember which) actually SHOWED +Gene at the podium . . . in the background, w/ the sound OFF!

(And then, as previously indicated, HBO didn't pick up coverage until afterwards).

The prayer reads great: sorry I didn't get a chance to see/hear it. Grrrrr! >:-0

[Particularly moved by "a father only gets one shot at his daughters' childhoods", as of course +Gene would know from experience.]

PseudoPiskie said...

I emailed HBO and complained.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Me, too. Also NBC for not even mentioning it on the Nightly News. G'wan. It will take you less than five seconds.

"Be the change you seek."

David and John said...

I have sent an email to HBO, and encourage others to do the same.

The fact that Bishop Robinson is the first openly gay Bishop to offer a prayer at an inaguration event is truly a ground-breaking thing for not only our community, but for the Episcopal Church.

Watching the 2 hour coverage truly brought me joy and hope, but to think about HBO editing out our Bishop is truly, very, disappointing.

Bishop Robinson made history today, and HBO ignored it. How sad.

Bateau Master said...

Baby Blue is reporting that +Robinson suffered the same fate as Forest Gump and only the last half of his final paragraph met a live microphone.

No indication of the cause, but human or other factors have not been ruled out.

Kirkepiscatoid said...

I am normally not a conspiracy theorist, but in this case, I have to at least mumble "hrrrmph."

Now if it had been FauxNews instead of HBO, I would be yelling "conspiracy theory" as loud as I could!