With the blessing of His Holiness Philaret, Patriarch of Kyiv and All Rus'-Ukraine, graciously accepting an invitation from the Philadelphia City Council PHLCouncil to open the Council's public meeting today, Thursday, June 16, 2022, with an invocation, Vicar Bishop of Philadelphia Luke addressed the governing authority of men and women with the following blessing:
“Good morning, Council President Clarke, Members of the City Council, Brothers and Sisters in the City of Philadelphia. I am Bishop of Philadelphia Luke, Rector of St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral Kyiv Patriarchate, located in Northern Liberties. Today, Thursday, June 16, 2022, at this meeting of the esteemed members of the Philadelphia City Council, I am honored to give the invocation. I thank Councilman David Oh for the invitation to be here with you this morning.
Let us bow our heads now as we pray to the Lord:
For this wonderful country, the United States of America, for our President, Joe Biden, for our armed forces, and for all those in civil authority.
In memory of the Founding Fathers and all those who gave their lives for our freedom.
For all those in the world today, especially the suffering people in Ukraine, who are fighting for the freedoms we enjoy every day.
For this beautiful city of Philadelphia, and for every city and country, and for the faithful dwelling in them.
For you, the members of the Philadelphia City Council, let us pray to the Lord for His mercy, guidance and grace.
Apostle Paul writes in Romans, Chapter 8, verse 28: ‘…we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.’ So, we pray for you, entrusted City Council members, as representatives of the people of the City of Philadelphia, that the Lord continue to grant you wisdom, honesty, integrity, empathy, confidence, the ability to work together, and joy in fulfilling the mission before you today.
Let us all pray to the Lord and give thanks -- for His mercy endures forever.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL. GOD BLESS AMERICA! GOD BLESS UKRAINE. AMEN.”
The Council meeting was a public meeting, streamed live on "Philadelphia Government Access Television."