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Bob Kleinheksel
Bob is an ordained United Church of Christ minister with a Masters of Social Work degree. He conducts counseling sessions with individuals, couples, and families about sexual orientation, life changes, and ideas about faith, religion, and spirituality.

Prayer of Pluralism and Diversity

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Transcript by Bob Kleinheksel, May 17, 2009 Spring and life and a throbbing universal resurrection energy call us out. Whether we know it or not, we move and grow with creation as it stirs, blooms, breaks forth in color. Can we go with it? Do we look for it, invite it, and say, “bring it […]

Transcript by Bob Kleinheksel, May 17, 2009
Spring and life and a throbbing universal resurrection energy call us out. Whether we know it or not, we move and grow with creation as it stirs, blooms, breaks forth in color. Can we go with it? Do we look for it, invite it, and say, “bring it on!”? Or do we resist the change happening even now in cells and changing minds, in our world and in relationships? Only change is unchanging in all its risk, freedom and threat May the beauty of this season be matched by the best of our humanity that inclines this world toward gentleness, deeper understandings, trembling pleasures and unexpected growth.

Here we are again, rooted in our personal and historical trajectories – lines of thinking, believing, questioning and confirming. All of us unique, all valid in variety, tragedy and beauty. Tens of thousands of particulars and parenting have gone into our formation – with our assumptions, biases, beliefs, expansiveness and limitations. They drive us on, keeping us stuck, setting us free. May we include what has been as we face these presents moments. Can we accept all that has been as part of the tapestry of lives without defensiveness, embarrassment, denial? Can we look upon it all and declare that it helps us to a better now and a deeper self? Including and transcending; becoming and growing. Dynamic realities in our lives we celebrate this day.

So, too, do we acknowledge how critical it is that we live side by side in acceptance, plurality and diversity. Diversity without divisiveness, unity without uniformity. The kaleidoscope of ideas, traditions, stories and beliefs co-existing and enhancing everything and everyone around. May sharing a spiritual heart be our joy and prerogative and at the heart of our mission and community; to proceed with listening ear and respect, as well as ease with difference, uncertainty and change.

And while we speak of pluralistic possibilities and theological intrigue right here and now, may we look beyond today on how to get along and support each other through distrust, differences and difficult life changes. To care, to smile, to embrace, to risk honesty; to dare a more vulnerable humanity, to trust enough to let go and to take on as needed or called upon. May we remember to face each other, to inquire of those whose lives are in disarray; to reach out to those in pain or who are discouraged. Everything under the sun will happen to us. Let’s get that in our heads. And may our responses to life’s circumstances be courageous in the face of the vast range of pains, losses, growth, gains and beauty we see and know.

Now, before we sing together, let us commit again to patience, validation and celebration of each other: To each’s tradition or to no tradition. Each’s history, particularities, each’s universal reach. May we choose respect and openness to the distinctions and commonalities that mark and unite us. May we do so in honor of life, in honor of saints and sages who inspire us to co-abide lovingly, in honor of the great traditions of all ages, and in honor of the God of our many understandings. Amen.

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One Response to “Prayer of Pluralism and Diversity”

  1. Joan Faulkner
    May 24, 2009 at 2:19 am #

    Your prayer was wonderful with many facets to look at and admire. I find it so difficult to have friends who have terrible situations in their family. They need a good listener and I try to be that. To have empathy, a kind and open heart sometimes is all one can provide. And usually that is enough. I am an 80 year old free spirit; have always enjoyed looking at a different way of thinking. That is why SBNR is so important to lots of us out here in cyberspace. Peace. Joan

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