Rev. Irv Porter: ‘For all these blessings and more, our hearts are full of thanks’
By Rev. Irv Porter, Associate for Native American Intercultural Congregational Support | Special to Presbyterian News Service
Editor’s nore: The Rev. Irv Porter offers Presbyterians a prayer for their Thanksgiving celebration. Porter is descended from three Native American tribes: Pima, T’hono O’odham, and Nez Perce. In addition to his work at the Presbyterian Mission Agency, Porter also serves the Church of the Indian Fellowship in Tacoma, Washington.
From the rising of the sun in the east to its setting in the west, you have blessed us with life, family, food from creation and spiritual ways drawing us closer to you.
You gave us this land, Turtle Island, to care for, to live in and to preserve for coming generations. Stop our ears when talk of destroying the land for temporary gain is heard. Teach us to respect the land and all her gifts of life. We are all related so what happens to any part of Creation affects us all. We are reminded that the land holds our ancestors, making it sacred.
As we work to end intolerance of people and cultures and our tolerance of historic injustice, open our hearts to reflect your image, your peace and your love to all. Open our spirits to peace and healing with those from all nations.
The wind, the sunrise, the sound of water moving forward, the songs of the bird, the beauty of the butterfly — all these things are where we find you, always. Help us to find you in this beauty and grant us lives centered upon you, Creator of the universe.
For all these blessings and more, our hearts are full of thanks. At this gathering of family and friends, this great feast of blessing, we thank you. Guide us to know your ways with respect. Hear our prayer of Thanksgiving. Let it be so.
The purpose of the Native American Intercultural Congregational Support Office is to enable the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to respond to Native American congregational issues, enable Native American Presbyterians to participate actively in the mission of the Church, facilitate the Church’s task of evangelism and leadership development and serve as a liaison to ecumenical and denominational entities in relation to issues affecting Native American Presbyterian churches and chapels. Learn more here.
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