We LOVED our "Excellent European Adventure" and ... there's no place like home!Back home for what is arguably my favorite Sunday of the year ... Independence Day @ All Saints Church -- when we start with "O beautiful for spacious skies" and end with "Lift Every Voice and Sing" ... and inbetween we celebrate what Ed Bacon has named as part of the DNA of All Saints Church:
We are boldly political without being partisan. Having a partisan-free place to stand liberates the religious patriot to see clearly, speak courageously, and act daringly."The service included this versicle and response:
Minister: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.And the Collect of the Day for Independence Day:
People: For the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
Lord God Almighty, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace: Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.And this year the flag presented during the offertory was brought forward at 9:00 by a WWII Tuskegee airman vet and at 11:15 by a Viet Nam vet -- and the "put your faith into action" action on the lawn was supporting comprehensive immigration reform.
Like I said ... there's no place like home!