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Dean Drummond Gives Invocation at Statehouse
Prayer Precedes Gov. Baker's State of the Commonwealth Address

Andover Newton Theological School is proud to have played a part in Gov. Charlie Baker's first State of the Commonwealth Address. Dr. Sarah B. Drummond, Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs & Associate Professor of Ministerial Leadership, delivered the invocation on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, at the Massachusetts Statehouse in Boston.

The prepared text of Dean Drummond's invocation is below:

Holy One, we call you by many names and seek you walking different paths. We honor each other’s pursuit of truth.  As we acknowledge the Spirit that we can’t see, measure, or even describe, we are bold to ask that we might be blessed with that Spirit tonight. We bid the presence of whatever each of us calls holy on this night of reflecting back and looking forward toward the future of our Commonwealth.

We pray for those who heard the call to a life of service and answered it through giving of themselves to our beloved Massachusetts. Leadership is ... difficult ... particularly at a time when stakes are high, scrutiny is constant, and neither trust nor forgiveness is easy to come by.  We give thanks that your children gathered here have taken up the yoke despite the sacrifices service requires. May those who lead -- even when they’re criticized, or when they try and fail -- sense that the rewards for what they do for others will come back to them in the form of a flourishing world.

Tonight we especially lift up your servant, Charles Duane Baker IV. We thank you that he cares for those in our Commonwealth who are most vulnerable: people afflicted with addiction; women, men, and children without homes; those who are detained or in prison; cities and small towns that seek to build community in the midst of scarce resources. We ask that Governor Baker’s words might come from his heart, and that his heart might be strengthened by the presence of all who have gathered to hear his vision.

We look ahead to this evening together as a time when we might grow in unity. May the God of our understandings bless this gathering and bring new life to our Commonwealth through all that is said and done in this venerable, historic space, tonight and always. Amen.

Watch the State of the Commonwealth Address on YouTube.

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