Orlando, FL - Summit on Religious Freedom
30 January 2018
Jocelyn Williamson (155 words)

As we assemble this evening,
Let us remember that when we share with others that which is most important to us,
Listening begins.

When we acknowledge the concerns of others,
When we say those concerns matter,
Compassion begins.

When we stand united against hatred, violence, and injustice,
Courage begins.

When we experience the full presence of each other,
Because of our shared humanity,
In spite of our disagreements
This is where understanding begins.

May we be open to others’ ideas and beliefs,
respectful of our differences, not threatened by them.

May we grow in understanding of our own motives,
May we replace fear with knowledge,
helping us to be patient and charitable in our dialogue.

While we often focus on our differences, this evening let us also seek to understand
the ideals and values we share.

Today and tomorrow, let us value one another more than we did yesterday.