[Note: It has been a crazy week leading up to commencement this year. Because of that, and the fact that I'm often asked for a copy of it, I am reprinting here the text of my invocation for the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony today at DU. Of course, it was "under embargo" until after the ceremony, which accounts for the "day-late" newsletter. ;-) ]
Please join with me in prayer.
Holy One, known by many names, as we begin our celebration today, bind us together in a spirit of healing and peace, as we pay respect to the original Arapaho and Cheyenne owners - both past and present - of the land on which the University of Denver stands.
Holy Wisdom, you have given the gifts of grace and skill in teaching to professors and colleagues. Thank you for all that they have been to those who receive their diplomas this day.
Compassionate One, you have provided these students with communities of support and care throughout their educational journeys. For families of origin and choice; for the friends of playgrounds to those made in the classroom and dorms, we are grateful.
Divine Servant, administration and“behind-the-scenes” work are gifts from you we often overlook. For the trustees, administrators and staff who guide and fund this university, who keep track of requirements and grades, and who ensure the internet works . . . mostly; for counselors and medical personnel; and all those-groundskeepers and housekeepers-who provide such a wonderful physical atmosphere for learning, thank you.
Lover of Justice, the education these students have received here equips them to make a difference in the world in which they live. Amidst news of tornados and school-shootings; ethnic and religious conflict; struggling nation states; and political systems where shouting and sound-bites sideline civility and substance; imbue these graduates with a sense of hope for the future and a passion to right the wrongs they encounter.
Overcomer of Obstacles, we bid your special presence in the hearts of these graduates. They have excelled in the classroom, been champions in sports; and studied and served around the world. Faced with great challenges, losses and disappointments, they have prevailed—they have succeeded. Let them now, in the midst of happy celebration, hear your clear, encouraging voice saying, “Well done. But wait, there’s more!” May they, looking back at their years at DU, sense your call forward into a lifetime full of adventure and purpose, and know that you, and we, will be cheering them on!
Dancing Lord, be our partner as we celebrate with joy today!