Monday, December 13, 2010

‘This Vision of Salem is Still Our Hope’

From The Living Church-

President Obama’s visit to Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, N.C., gave a priest a short-notice opportunity to pray the invocation.

Gary Green, president of Forsyth Tech, is a member of St. Timothy’s Church, Winston-Salem, and invited his rector, the Rev. Stephen C. Rice, to offer the prayer. Fr. Rice wrote about the experience on his weblog, theologia habitus est.

“The student body president of FTCC was to lead the Pledge of Allegiance,” he wrote. “She was nervous and the staffer kissed her on the head and said, ‘You’ll be fabulous.’ When it was my turn, I looked at him and asked, ‘Are you going to kiss me?’ He looked at me and said, ‘No, Father, I’m not.’”

During his visit to the school Dec. 6, President Obama warned of a possible new “Sputnik moment” in which the United States lags behind other nations in science and technology. Obama noted that Forsyth Tech offers programs in biotechnology, mechanical engineering technology and nanotechnology.

“When Forsyth Technical opened 50 years ago, it was known as Forsyth County Industrial Education Center,” Obama said. “Of course, back then, you didn’t even need a degree to earn a decent living. You could get a job at a local tobacco or textile plant and still be able to provide for yourself and your family.”

In his invocation, Fr. Rice compared Winston-Salem to the Salem described in Genesis:

“In our story of faith, Abraham, the father of many, greeted the King of Salem and was blessed by him; for he was a priest of the Most High,” he prayed. “This vision of Salem is still our hope. The promise for all to have a home of peace and love is made alive in our longing. We are thankful, O God, to live in a country where hope is not crushed, peace is pursued, and where faith is fostered. We are thankful, O God, to live in a city that bears the name Salem, that place that patriarchs and psalmists viewed as a holy hope. As Abraham went to the King of Salem seeking blessing, we have come here, honored by the visit of our President, seeking your blessing, O Lord. Bless with your guidance and wisdom our President, our Congress and all in authority in this and every land. And bless, we beseech you, this city of Salem. May we long for all that is good, right, and just. And in our longing, may we have the strength and courage to seek it. This we ask in you who is always with us. Amen.”

More here-

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