heaven and earth cannot contain you,
much less this place
which our imagination has conceived and our money has built.
But we come now to pray that you will use it
to fulfil some part of your purposes.
You are the centre,…
the heart of all that exists.
It is your breath which gives life.
It is your love which gives meaning.
You are the centre….
It is toward you that all seekers after the truth walk,
no matter where they start from,
and in travelling toward you they move closer to each other…
You are the centre of all things, God,
and today we dedicate this place to you.
So let it be at the centre of all that matters,
not tip-toeing around the edges of controversy,
trying to build bridges over troubled waters,
but standing with you at the heart of the storm;
not standing on the edges of human life
looking for pretty and pious things
with which to decorate emptiness,
but with men and women and their communities
as they struggle to find new life, new purposes, and real joy…
Behold the thing we have created.
Take it and make it yours….
This prayer was used at the 1986 dedication of the Windermere Centre, the United Reformed Church guest house and retreat centre in Windermere, Cumbria, UK (pictured above). Its author, Graham Cook, served as the first Director of the Centre.
It might be adapted for use in a local church or community centre.