For those who could not attend continuing sessions, the Clerks’ opening remarks and the land acknowledgement are excerpted in the story below. Please note that the land acknowledgment prayer delivered by s. boone o’scheyichbi uses unconventional capitalization and language.
Remarks from Jean-Marie Prestwidge Barch and Frank Barch, Presiding Clerks, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting
“To friends everywhere: We do not ask that you pray for us to be safe. We ask that you pray for us to be faithful.” — From the epistle from France Yearly Meeting 1943.
Frank and I have been carrying these words the past several weeks. In those challenging days and today, we are called as people of faith to sink deep into the wellspring of Spirit in which we ground ourselves as the foundation for action.
Today, some around the country are engaged in work to support our democratic systems, celebrating the extraordinary vote turnout, supporting the full and fair tally of all legally cast ballots, assuring that our democratic system can flourish and live up to its promise.
For those of us who are here, we are taking this opportunity for retreat and renewal so that we may continue to be faithful on the road ahead.
Land Acknowledgement: Fall Continuing Sessions
‘Alii,’ greetings Sisters and Brothers of the Sacred Oak Treaties and Sacred Elm Treaty: in this season of the Trees, Adonai* hear our prayers…
Creator, we thank you, for awakening us, inviting us to intentionally retreat with you, inter-generationally affirming Beloved Community… Creator, we ask your forgiveness of our imperfections, and to guide us in wisdom, compassion, and trust….
centering into expectant silence, we pray; why, why pray? …we pray seeking “to know the work of each day that has always been there and to do that work together.” …How, how might we do that work?
John Lewis would have us engage in “good trouble;” Howard Thurman might suggest that we “come alive;” and Prophet Micah? Micha tells us that Spirit asks each of us to do justice AND to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God; justice with kindness while humble before Spirit….
Yahweh*, humbly, we acknowledge that today’s Session for Worship sprouts from the ancestral territory of the Lenape People, a homeland overflowing with your love; a peaceable land relative to sovereign Lenape culture more than 12,000 years; harmony of Lenapehoking, kin, Lenape People witnessing sacred ceremonies, communal interconnectedness, wisdom, language, stories, art, dance, customs, sustenance, governing structures….land of Lenape proprietary lifeways remaining in relationship with place, by faithfully fulfilling original instructions; love; loving care for all creation. Friends of Truth are calling-in the Lenape Treaties of Amity.
May the one who blessed the ancestors bless the sacred work; may the source of strength who blessed the ones before us help us find courage to make our lives a blessing; now we are one….let it be so, ‘na ne lekch’
*Definitions: Adonai and Yahweh are Hebrew names for God.