given by the Rev. Paul Oakley
at the Unity Prayer Breakfast of the Staunton Branch NAACP
St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Staunton, Virginia
9:00 AM, Saturday, February 10, 2018
God who made us one and calls us to be one,
God who made us many so that we may come to know each other and, knowing each other, begin to know God,
God who in all our particularities and differences shows us facets and reflections of Divine Truth,
God who teaches – through incarnation, avatar, emanation, and exemplar, through revelation and prophetic utterance and redemption – who teaches that, even though we live our lives as individuals of inherent worth and dignity, each one made in God’s image, we flourish in families and communities and congregations, as one people, united in love, in a quest for justice, and in shared purpose beyond our distinctions:
Be gentle with us.
Forgive our pride in our separateness, teaching us to let it go.
Lead us past our refusals to that city called heaven where we will come together in unity to the place where all reality meets as one.
Grant us strength and purpose.
Lead us to the wisdom that gives us understanding of our path to growing, greater equity.
Show us grace.
Teach us that we need each other to survive.
In words of the song:
I need you, you need me.
We’re all a part of God’s body.
Now let all people who share the prophet’s call to pursue justice, all people who would heed the call to love our neighbors as ourselves, all who commit to the holy unity represented here today, let all join voices as one and together say Amen.
 “I Need You to Survive,” words and music by David Frazier, recorded and made popular by Bishop Hezekiah Walker.