A Unity Prayer for the City Council

Councilman Derek Reeve offered words of what he hoped to be healing after a contentious November election at Tuesday's City Council meeting.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Councilman Derek Reeve gave the invocation at Tuesday's City Council meeting, calling for a spirit of healing and unity for the community after the November election. Patch asked permission to reprint the prayer. Reeve indicated he combined several existing prayers to fashion this one.

If you please will you bow your head as we pray?

Dear wise and loving Father:

As we gather we give thanks for the gift of life, and the gift of this new day. For the blessing of this community, colleagues, friends, and extended family, we give thanks. For generations of brave men and women who secured our liberty, we give thanks.

Tonight we introduce a new council. We say goodbye to our trusted colleague Laura and welcome our new colleague Roy. In the wake of the November election, let us give thanks for all those who offered themselves for public service and opened their lives to scrutiny, and thanks for the days worked, dollars given, miles walked, and the hours of sleep sacrificed by the candidates, their families, friends, and volunteers. We celebrate with all who won the election. To those near and far disappointed by the outcome of the election, we extend words and gestures of understanding, reassurance, and care. For putting their hearts into their campaigns for our community, we extend our thanks and our fellowship.

May all be blessed first, with times of rest and reflection, and then, with a new sense of purpose and vision. Perhaps among us are those who felt betrayed or let down by others, or by themselves, in the recent campaign. Perhaps among us are some who feel our own words or deeds have not reflected the best of who we are as people, and who we aspire to be. Indeed, in life most of us fall short of our principles. We let one another down, or let ourselves down. May we receive a measure of humility and forgiveness, and may provide us with a new chance, a fresh beginning in the days and months ahead.

As we gather today, let our minds extend beyond these walls to all those who are vulnerable and all who need our support and advocacy: children and families, people without  a job or struggling to keep their home; people suffering afflictions of body, mind or spirit,. We extend our thanks for those who help others and those make our city more livable and safe. We pray for the safety of all now serving abroad and we pray peace for all who call such places home.

As the work of this new council begins, we invoke the commitments that call us into service and sustain us through times of challenge as well as times of joy: the values of freedom, civic duty and personal responsibility; understanding and inclusiveness; and the values of dignity and respect for all members of San Juan Capistrano.

May God bless our precious republic and our beloved city of San Juan Capistrano

It is in your most blessed Name we pray, Amen.

Charles December 06, 2012 at 03:08 PM
It couldn't hurt (other than wasting time and perpetuating superstitions) to pray before the meeting. Maybe this will be the first time in human history praying will be shown to provide a positive impact.
Steve Behmerwohld December 07, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Three and a half minutes that I'll never get back. I pray that Council does away with the invocation. If you want to pray, do it at Church, at home or privately, not at City Hall.
Whiskey Bent December 07, 2012 at 02:50 AM
The hatred your group has for Reeve knows no bounds if you're criticizing him for this. He must be doing something right.
Steve Behmerwohld December 07, 2012 at 03:00 AM
My group?, Agnostics?
Whiskey Bent December 07, 2012 at 03:13 AM
Your group Kramer, Allevato, Volzke, Hooper, Gaffney, Bodenhamer, etc.
Steve Behmerwohld December 07, 2012 at 03:27 AM
Oh, THAT GROUP. The people that aren't afraid to use their real names and spend their time serving San Juan instead of constantly trying to tear it apart. PS, I am honored to be considered part of that group.
Whiskey Bent December 07, 2012 at 04:27 AM
You're only threatened and afraid of exposure and challenges to your authority. Why else would your group often resort to bullying when presented with honest disagreement and gestures of good will?
Steve Behmerwohld December 07, 2012 at 04:55 AM
I use my name. How can you think that I'm afraid of exposure? Challenges to my authority? What authority? As a CERT? My initial comment didn't mention Derek at all. It was about separation of Church and State. You are paranoid, I'm done.
Clint Worthington December 07, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Just a point of reference. Bodenheimer is paid by the Chamber of Commerce and also subsidized by the taxpayers of San Juan at $25,000.00 per year. So, he is paid very nicely to serve San Juan. If I am to believe everything I read, he does not even live in our City. Kramer is retired. You heard Jonathan talk this morning that there was a City Council member who earned $20,000 a year serving on all of the commissions and appointments. What they are doing is not volunteer work by any means. However, what you do Steve with ASAP and CERT is volunteer work. Please dont confuse the people who volunteer their time serving San Juan with the people who are paid to do so. Huge difference.
Clint Worthington December 07, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Last time I checked, so far no one has been able to ever get any time back.
Lon Uso December 08, 2012 at 01:15 AM
It is a wonderful sentiment and I am glad to see that a bit of reality is setting in for Derek. That being said, You have a 3 to 2 Council with ideologues on both sides that are inflexible. if you would have elected Kim, chances are that Derek would have been named Mayor and Roy or Kim would have been named pro tem so it is a bit disingenuous to be so upset. I hope that next election some folks that are neither the "angries" or "the good old boys" can be elected. People without an ax to grind that can move to either side of an argument depending on the facts and not a sense of blind loyalty to one group or another. This will be the only way that the City will have a chance to move forward in a rational manner. BTW, whether or not a Council Member decides to give an invocation to start a meeting should be determined by their individual conscience. Tom Hribar usually asked for a moment of silent contemplation while Sam usually gave a sermon, it's called free speech and it is protected by the Constitution.


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