Bishop Sandra offers prayer for Welcoming Week

By Sandra Steiner Ball

As I pray today during this welcoming week – I pray with eyes open – with grateful heart – with arms open – as I recognize and welcome the movement of God’s Spirit among all God’s people.

Let us pray: 

Dear Lord,

Your world is home to a wide variety of human beings, animals, and plants.  You created your world, this world with wonderful variety – a variety of life, of color, of movement.  When you created this world and all living things, you looked over all that you had created and said – without condition, “it is good!”

Today I give thanks for your original blessing, a blessing poured out upon all your creation, poured out upon all your people.  In addition to your blessing, you also gave to us a responsibility, a responsibility to care for and to be good stewards of your people and creation. 

Since your original blessing and your charge to care for this world and your people, we have forgotten at times how to breathe your life, love and compassion out upon your people who travel and migrate from one place to another. At times, we have forgotten the lessons of Jesus, and we have feared those of your children who come from other places in your world and have built walls instead of welcoming them into a new home.  At other times we have simply become too comfortable with our own way of living, protecting what we have where we live, thus failing to welcome our brothers and sisters into new places, cultures, and living situations in a way where they come to feel they belong.

Today, dear Lord, you seek to remind us that you continue to breathe the breath of life and love on all people. You continually call us to welcome the members of God’s family who come to our land, to our state, to our communities to escape oppression, poverty, persecution, violence, and war. 

Almighty God, fill us with your grace and help us to banish any fear and suspicion from our hearts, so that we may embrace each person we encounter as a member of Your family and therefore our family. Help us to welcome migrants and refugees with generosity, grace, and joy as we respond their needs in helping them not only find home, but be at home, belong to our community.  Help us to see your pilgrim peoples as gifts and as gifted.  Help us to witness to your love for all people as we are drawn together in one body, sharing, learning, living, loving, and growing together.

We praise you and give you thanks for the family you have called together a great variety of people, people who represent different experiences, and cultures, languages, and gifts. We see in this human family a reflection of the divine unity of the one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in whose name we prayer. Amen. 


Welcoming Week is a national celebration of immigrants and refugees and the contributions that they make to our local communities. For more information follow this link.

For more about local observances, including interfaith conversations and local immigrant-owned business spotlights follow this link.