2009 Transformational Leadership Celebration & Gala
Ritz-Carlton HotelChicago, IllinoisApril 17, 2009The Rev. Dr. C. Welton GaddyPresident of The Interfaith Alliance
(Please embrace his invocation as a prayer, a meditation, a thought, or whatever form of expression that is most meaningful to your mindset.)
whose reality we recognize with many different names;
before whose presence we bow in a variety of ways pervaded with a common reverence; and
with whom we partner on a pilgrimage dedicated to pursuing truth and experiencing, as well as facilitating, transformation.
Creator, Sustainer, and Transformer:
This very evening, as we recognize and honor models of transformational leadership among others, grant us insight sufficient to acknowledge and claim the potential for leadership and the possibilities for transformation within ourselves.
Melt our meekness regarding making a difference.
Smash idols our allegiance to which has hurt us more than helped us.
Swipe from our consciousness stereotypes that restrict an expansion of our relationships.
Excise our fear of ideas that are new, people who are different, and challenges that are large.
Embolden us to go where we have not gone before.
Liberate our minds from the enslaving preoccupation with what is so we can think new thoughts and discover new opportunities related to what can be.
Destroy the pigeon holes and tiny boxes into which we have been satisfied to stuff all reality so that we can think creatively.
Complement our interest in financial security and monetary liquidity with a passion for moral integrity.
Pummel into extinction false polarities so that we can live with reason and emotions, laugh and cry, whistle and think, pray and take action.
Erase all goals fixated on any bottom line that ignores personal compassion, active citizenship, and social responsibility.
We realize how fortunate we are to be together in this place this evening. So, we desire to make the most of it.
Enable us to listen as if we are hearing sound for the first time and watch as if our previous days were lived in blindness.
Set within us security sufficient to enjoy the wildness of thinking freely, loving unconditionally, and taking action spontaneously.
Inspire us to lead by serving and serve by leading that the transformation that we seek in others may find realization in us.
Tonight, in the course of this evening, affirm us as we set ourselves on a path that causes us to live with a newness that almost takes our breath away and with a commitment evocative of action on which we gaze from the edge of whatever and say with a sense of rightness and a smile, "I'm glad I did that!"
Now, our of the depths of the place where words come from, as we say a traditional "So be it," or "Amen," comes an exclamation of encouragement—"Right on!"