Oh God, in this, our winter of discontent, give us in the New Year a springtime for America.

Lift us from the parched land of sectarianismand acrimony, of citizens at war with each other.

Oh God, renew us with Thy gift of peace. Fulfill justice and freedom in our communities.

Incline us to those moral virtues without which there can be no democracy.

Oh God, inspire our leaders; make them good and wise. May they govern America virtuously.

May modest public policy, forged in consensus, provide a sufficient justice for all.

Oh God, save us from political arrogance that insists upon perfection at the price of unity and peace.

May the nourishment and vitality of our founding vision be above all, the milk of human kindness.

Oh God, may our love of freedom be tempered by a reverence for the obligations we owe to one another.

May we not expect too much from the rough husks of our national institutions, knowing that their imperfections are ours and ours alone.

Oh God, remind us that our beloved Republic is but the fragile gift of human stewardship sustained by divine providence.

May we cultivate a great greening of America, not out of fear of some imminent disaster, but for the sake of the earth, our nation, and her people.

Oh God, in this winter of our discontent, grant us a bright springtime and transform the New Year.

For this land we all love, which Thou hast so richly blest, renew us by Thy Spirit.

Dan L. Hendricks

Florence