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The following prayer was offered by transitional deacon and All Saints member Nat Katz at the 119th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.

O God, who lifts the valleys and levels the hills,
In this season of Advent
lift us up as we dare to live into our calling
as a people of memory and of imagination

We remember the heritage of our past
we awake to our present
and we look with hope to the future horizon

We remember those
who established this Diocese 150 years ago

Seeing a small, burgeoning city,
they imagined a church
capable of caring for those in need
and educating generations of children
to build upon their legacy.

Those saints who came before us established churches,
hospitals and schools that continue in caring ministry to this day.

We give thanks for the vision of our ancestors
for the inspiration you provided them
and for the will to see that vision come into being.

We open our eyes to look with love
on the Church that lies before us today
a Church alive and more diverse
than the founders of our diocese could have imagined.

We give thanks for those
who sacrificed and struggled
so that our Church might better represent
the wildness of God’s imagination.

Despite the richness of our heritage
and the profound depth of sacrifices –
both past and present,
we humbly acknowledge that there remain
too many still in need of healing and teaching
too many still in need of welcome,
love and justice
too many whose voices cry out
in the wilderness of our nation
in the wilderness of our world
in the wilderness of our own communities
voices that cry out and have yet to be heard

O God who makes all things new
from whom all blessings flow
We ask your blessing upon our work together
in the vineyard that is the Diocese of Los Angeles.

We ask your blessing
upon the food that will nourish us
as we reach for completion…for fulfillment.

We ask your blessing
upon our sisters and brothers
who have brought food to us
from your Creation for our sustenance and enjoyment.

We ask your blessing
upon those whose kinship is yet to be found
in this room and in this Diocese.

Come, Lord Jesus,
and kindle our imagination to dream big
as we reach from our heritage to your horizon.

Come, Lord Jesus,
and bring our journey towards compassion
to completion.

Come, Lord Jesus,
and bind us at last,
into the human family you created us to be.

All this we pray through the coming Christ Child
our Emmanuel
always with us and always yet to come.
Amen.

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