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Ralph N. Helverson: Fragment of a Prayer

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Be with those today who bear burdens too heavy to be borne alone. In the myriad ways we may live our lives, enable us to find strength to do our duty. For those who bear the weight of illness, often unknown to others, sustain and uphold. For those who bear a scar in the soul tortur ing and searing the inner life, bring unity and peace. For those who stand at the brink of some momentous decision, bring clarity and inner resolu tion. For those who walk in the shadow of fear, bring wisdom. God of our secret and open quest for significance and strength, be with us and in us and around us.

Ralph N. Helverson (1912-2007) led First Parish in Harvard Square during the socially and politically turbulent decades from 1959 to 1977. Under his leadership, several initiatives developed and expanded, including media and social services. For many years, Helverson was the voice of Unitarian Universalism on Boston radio, where his distinctive Sunday morning broadcasts, Window on Harvard Square, brought the message of the liberal church to many people for the first time.