225th Anniversary Celebration of the Statehood of Tennessee
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
Invocation – Rev. Meredith Loftis
Good and Gracious God,
With joy we gather today to celebrate 225 years of life, of history, of the abundance that you, O God, have given the great Volunteer state of Tennessee. We gather to give thanks for and commemorate the generations that came before us, the men and women that struggled and persevered to make this land a home and a community, and the green earth that gives us life.
We turn our eyes to you, God, with praise and thanksgiving for the wisdom, love, mercy, and justice you have granted us from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Mississippi River and throughout our nation. Help us recall the strong roots that we have grown from in the many women and men like William Blount, James White, Cal Johnson, suffragist Lizzie Crozier French, Dr. Walter Hardy, and others that formed our state and continue to influence us today.
But also keep our eyes forward. Where we have fallen short and committed harm, forgive us. Do not let us shy away from painful history or difficult conflict, but allow these things to help us evolve into the people you would have us be. Empower us by your Spirit to grow and flourish into a place and community where all your people might participate in the future ahead with creativity, abundant life, liberty, and justice in Tennessee.
We ask your blessings on Tennessee and on Knoxville, on those that lead us, and on the citizens that make up our beautiful state. In this year of celebration, bind us together ever more tightly in friendship and love. Enable our hearts and hands to stand ready to continue to build Tennessee into a strong and welcoming place.
We ask this in your name. Amen.