Prayers for Pundits, Presidents, and Laureates

April 9, 1991

An invocation delivered by the Rev. Dr. Geoffrey G. Drutchas for a discussion of national politics by "Washington Week in Review" panelists Allan Murray, Wall Street Journal, Jack Nelson, Los Angeles Times, and Paul Duke, television commentator, at the Economic Club of Detroit

O Gracious God, who humbled us when we sought to build a Tower of Babel: nourish us physically and spiritually as we gather today. Lead us in the way of wisdom. Illumine our minds and chasten our tongue that we say in dialogue may be the truth spoken with love. By your creative and healing grace, empower us to transform good words into good deeds so that in accordance with your will there can be justice for all without prejudice towards the few. Bless us also in our diversity as a nation and guide us to a new unity of purpose, locally and globally, so that your Kingdom awaited may one day be a kingdom attained. Amen.

February 27, 1995

Invocation delivered by the Rev. Dr. Geoffrey G. Drutchas for an address by Dr. Russell G. Mawby, Chairman, W.K. Kellog Foundation, at the Economic Club of Detroit

O God: From a preoccupation with self, deliver us. Towards a commitment to others, lead us. In a time when "me" and "mine" are yet exalted, help us to understand that what we possess are ultimately gifts and blessings bestowed by you to be employed for the common good. Grant to us the compassion we need to be charitable and generous. And by your grace renew us in the virtues of wisdom and humility that we may count ourselves privileged to be your servants and stewards.

Amen.

March 1, 1996

An invocation delivered by the Rev. Dr. Geoffrey G. Drutchas for an address by Dr. Neil L. Rudenstine, President of Harvard University, at the Economic Club of Detroit

As we bow our heads in prayer, let us recall the words of the Harvard psychologist William James who nearly a century ago remarked: "The individual is stifled without the sympathy of the community; the community withers away...without the initiative of the individual."

O God, In a time of uncertainty and dislocation, where the individual feels small and the community has barely the strength to sustain, help us as a people to find our center, our balance, our hope once again through You. Restore to our public and private lives a love of that which is just and true. Renew in us a commitment to compassion for all, including the least of our brethren, whom we may hardly know. Beyond the conflict and contention of divisive ideologies, enable us to see, O God, that your purposes are best secured and fulfilled when mutual gain takes precedence over personal greed and where both the community and the individual are cherished and upheld. By your grace, dear God, empower us to individually and communally flourish in virtue and veritas. Amen.

March 11, 1997

An invocation delivered by the Rev. Dr. Geoffrey G. Drutchas for an address by Dr. Peter MacPherson, President of Michigan State University, at the Rotary Club of Taylor, Michigan

O Generous God: We gather today rejoicing in our togetherness but conscious of our need for your guidance in a time of much uncertainty and confusion. Bless our gathering and the meal that we share. As we partake of our food, nourish and strengthen us for the tasks that you set before us today and tomorrow that we may serve you faithfully and well in this world. Amen.

May 15, 2000

An invocation delivered by the Rev. Dr. Geoffrey G. Drutchas for an address by Professor Robert A. Mundell of Columbia University, Economist and Nobel Laureate, at the Economic Club of Detroit

O God: In a world newly conscious of its global identity and clamoring for connections profitable and rewarding, help us to see beyond our own self-focused ambitions and dreams. A rising tide may lift all boats. But if the boats of some are scarcely sea-worthy or full of holes? As we contemplate the advent of the Euro and the future of the Dollar and the Yen, keep us mindful of those on this earth whom destiny and ill-fortune have mired in poverty and want. Instill in us, dear God, the will to create a more compassionate and generous world where plenitude and wealth for us does not mean scarcity and suffering for others. Amen.

October 30, 2000

Invocation delivered by the Rev. Dr. Geoffrey G. Drutchas for an address by Dr. Doris Kearns Goodwin, author and political commentator, at the Economic Club of Detroit

O God, it is said that those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it. If this is true, then help us to discern history's lessons in all their depth and profundity. And guide us to use all knowledge gained to build a nation where leadership is truly exercised with love and justice for the common good. Bless us now as we not only share in the camaraderie of this hour but entertain the truth of experience passed through the fire of thought. Amen.

February 5, 2003

An invocation by the Rev. Dr. Geoffrey G. Drutchas for an address by Bill Emmott, Editor-in- Chief, The Economist Magazine, at the Economic Club of Detroit

O God, if we soar to heaven's heights or plunge to deepest depths we know that you are with us. There is no turning away from your face or presence. Nor can anything separate us from your

provident care. How we count on your love to get us through tough times and to cope with great sorrow. Yet, even as your love consoles us, its good example chastens us to be the kind of people who, besides prizing right over wrong, cherish the self-restraint that does not give way to base and punitive impulses. On this day and beyond, O God, help us to deal wisely with our fears, frustrations, and responsibilities so that we do not add needlessly to the misery of the world, but build up a positive inheritance of justice and peace for our children and our children's children.

Amen.

September 23, 2004

Invocation delivered by the Rev. Dr. Geoffrey G. Drutchas for an address by Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School, at the Economic Club of Detroit

O God: In a day when all too often the end justifies the means and serving ourselves becomes the bottom line, help us to think more broadly and deeply on what it means to win or lose. Grant us fresh wisdom to understand an old truth about humankind: our greater happiness comes only when we together seek the greater good and make compassion and fairness our guide and goad. Amen.

April 3, 2009

An invocation delivered by the Rev. Dr. Geoffrey G. Drutchas for a panel discussion on the State of the Michigan economy at the Economic Club of Detroit

O God: At a time of uncertainty, when each day calls into question the fate of our nation and the state of our economy, local and global, help us to be a people of humility and hope. Amid our prognostications, dire or sanguine, keep us mindful that none of us are clairvoyant with the gift of perfect prophecy. Four our destiny as your sons and daughters is not pre-determined. The future remains to be shaped by what you do and how we respond. Give us the wisdom to respond well to the challenges and opportunities you set before us. Above all, fill us with a passion to do what is right and unselfish in your sight so that when your kingdom comes and all is brought to light we will have your praise as good stewards and faithful servants. Amen.

October 8, 2009

An invocation delivered by the Rev. Dr. Geoffrey G. Drutchas for an address by Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, President of Rensselaer Polytechnic University, at the Economic Club of Detroit

O God: At a moment in the destiny of our city and nation when troubling circumstances of our economy and environment conspire to put so much in doubt and burden us with anxiety and fear, deliver us from discouragement and despair. Keep us mindful of the creative resources you constantly place at our disposal to heal, redeem, and renew. More important still, help us to tap our latent talents and ingenuity that we might shape--through your grace-a different world and a revitalized city which better honors your original creation and prospers the well-being of all your people. Amen.