Friend and former AWAB board member Madison McClendon wrote the following prayer that preceded the AWAB Breakfast at the American Baptist Biennial Mission Summit in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Saturday, June 24th, 2023.

Strong, handsome, fierce and powerful Mother. Sweet, gentle, beautiful and sensitive Father. Parent whose nurture and protection surpasses understanding. We have gathered for another morning. Most of us didn’t get enough sleep last night. Most of us had a full day yesterday. Most of us have a full day in front of us.

Last night, we heard a word to be woke. But for some of us, the work of being awake for decades, awake when others were asleep, working while others slumbered, that work has been exhausting. Many of us have had too many sleepless nights worrying about what it means to be ourselves in a world that refuses to understand. We fell asleep last night once more, not into an ignorant sleep, but into a desperate rest.

But now we have reason to celebrate. Now we gather in rainbow glory. Wake us today to more than just justice. Enliven us to see the inexhaustible beauty of your creation, a beauty that emerges precisely from the impossible diversity and inexpressible abundance that is the watchword of being alive. Every face here is a creation you made to be beautiful and fragile, glorious and vulnerable, extraordinary and queer. As we awake together, make us wholly alive to the beauty of your queer and wondrous world. Let that beauty be the fuel that lets us do more than just see the injustice around us. Let it empower us to set our hands once more to the task the day demands of us. Let it teach us once more what it means to rise in power.

Amen, and amen.