Rev. Sandy Damhof, Protestant Chaplain at University at Albany and pastor of Journey United Church of Christ, delivered the following benediction at the March 15 Fight for 15 Rally in Albany.
God of Justice
We gather together as workers We gather as advocates we are fast food workers we are home health aids we are child care providers we are part time employees we are full time workers we are hard workers and yet we are underpaid workers we are young and we are old we are from here and we are from there..
In our diversity we gather. We gather together seeking justice.
And as we gather, we remember .... We remember the commands recorded in the ancient Hebrew scriptures - instructions about paying workers fairly - warnings about oppressing others or withholding their wages
As we gather, we remember the times you spoke to your people through the prophets - The words of warning from Jeremiah, who said "Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice, who makes his neighbor serve him for nothing and does not give him his wages." - The words of Malachi, who spoke against those who oppress the hired workers.
As we gather we remember the teachings of Jesus whose voice joined the others in urging justice and fairness in all areas of life, including work.
And so, following in their footsteps, we gather together today seeking justice for a new age of workers in our day and in our time.
Send now your spirit of empowerment on each person gathered here today. Strengthen us in this fight May our actions be bold May our message be clear
As we call for change Open the minds and hearts of those in power. That they may see the need that they may act with compassion in ways that bring about justice for all.
And all God's people said ... Amen.