What a gift it was.

A symbol of friendship between the French and the Americans.

From one people to another.

A celebration of democracy,

The end of American slavery.


And then...

A poet,

Emma Lazarus,

Offered new words

That painted a broader context.

New meanings.

Now inseparable.


"Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me.

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" 


Here at Lady Liberty’s feet,

These words give pause.

And tears upon tears.


Oh God who nurtures creative gifts in us all,

Works that transform our landscape year by year,

Make us bold contributors,

That we may courageously stand and speak

Of liberty which frees all your people from oppression.


Empower makers among us,

In these complex days

To take a stand and boldly declare

Yes, love.

Yes, compassion.

Yes, welcome.

Yes, liberty for all.

Yes, in this America.



With voices raised,

One by one,


May we become together the people that you dream we can be.

One people of God.

Open hearts.

Open hands.

Room enough for all.


Let it be so,

O God of boundless love.

Let it be so.