Invocation Address: the Rev. Dr. Stephen L. White

Written by Christy Richardson on June 18, 2012

A transcript of the Rev. Dr. Stephen L. White’s invocation
Pine Cobble School 75th Commencement Exercises
June 15, 2012

I am deeply honored to be invited to give the invocation at the 2012 Pine Cobble School graduation.

But I am mindful of a dilemma that confronts me in the very word “invocation.” I know this is a school of Latin scholars and, therefore, I know that you are aware that the word invocation is derived from the Latin word invocare that means to call
upon or to invoke.

And that raises the question, “Whom do we call upon?”

My dilemma lies in the simple fact that the answer is not the same for everyone here present.

For me and for some of you, the answer the one who is the creator of the universe; the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus. For some of you the answer is Allah, and for others it is a spiritual being who has no name. For others, the answer very well may be “I don’t know” or “Nobody.” And for still others the answer might be “Gee, I’ve never thought about that.”

However you think of these things, I invite you to join me as we call upon the source of life and goodness to be with us now, to give thanks, and to ask a special blessing for our graduates.

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.

May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.

May God preserve you from all evil and keep you safe.

And may God watch over your going out and your coming in, from this time forth for evermore.


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