Celebrating May Day
May 1, 2009

“United we stand, divided we fall.
An injury to one is an injury to all.”

We must not take advantage of a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether the worker is a resident or immigrant living in our town. We must pay the worker in wages promptly because the worker is poor and counting on it.
(Deuteronomy 24:14)

If one member suffers, all suffer together with it.
(I Corinthians 12:26)

When you hire, compensate your workers and treat them fairly.
(Prophet Muhammad)

Sanctuary Song


Responsive Reading
One:  We gather today to celebrate International Workers’ Day. As part of this day of celebration and thanksgiving we lift up all workers who live and work in our communities.  We give thanks for the many gifts and talents they bring to our nation.

Many:  We give thanks and pray for all who are living in our community, but especially those who are immigrants among us.

One:  There are over 32 million immigrants in the US living and working in cities, suburbs, and rural areas across the nation.

Many: One in eight workers today is foreign born.

One:  Except for Native Americans, we were all once new to this country.

Many: Some of us came to the US to escape poverty or oppression. Others of us were forced here on slave ships. 
Still others came seeking opportunity.

One: New immigrants come for many of the same reasons. We know that too many immigrant workers among us are not receiving the fruits of their labor, who are being exploited, criminalized, and deported.

Many:  We are a nation known for the protection of civil liberties and rights.  Yet many immigrants and communities of color do not feel protected by the police or the government. We must stand up for immigrants’ civil and human rights.

All: Hacer justicia, amar a la bondad, caminar a la humilidad con nuestro Dios.

Prayers of the People

Closing Prayer (in unison)
God of justice and freedom,
walk with all of us who struggle for dignity in the workplace,
for a living wage and for fair benefits.
Help us to see you in the face of the stranger
so that we can claim kinship
and be surprised by your heavenly hospitality
that finds a home, a sanctuary in us.
Bless us as we continue working to bring forth your vision—
a vision of justice and peace, kindness and compassion,
grace, and mercy.  Amen