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Boise pastor delivers unexpected prayer at City Council meeting

Rev. Marci Auld Glass of Boise’s Southminster Presbyterian Church surprised a few people — me included — at City Hall on Tuesday with a strongly worded invocation to open the City Council’s meeting.

Like any reporter, I’ve heard a few invocations before government meetings I’m covering. This one was more pointed than any I can remember. It seemed to take on some of the issues of the day nationally and at home.

This quote illustrates what I mean:

“We come before you to confess we seek peace through violence and find security in weapons. And we abandon the hungry and the sick and the homeless, and we pursue wealth at all costs. We mistreat the creation you have entrusted to our care. Forgive us, Holy One for our hubris and our short-sighted behavior. Even so, you love us.”

You’ll notice Rev. Auld Glass didn’t advocate gun control or any other specific political policy. From a certain perspective, one might conclude she was adding her voice to a chorus that has criticized the city and Mayor David Bieter for its response to homelessness, particularly over the past few months.

But if Bieter interpreted it that way, he didn’t seem offended. He called Auld Glass’s invocation “one of the best prayers that we’ve ever had here.”

“Thank you very much. That was beautiful,” he said.

In fact, a few minutes later, Bieter brought up homelessness again. Moments after being sworn in to his fourth four-year term — unprecedented in Boise history — Bieter said he plans to take on some really tough problems facing the city: a new main library branch, public transportation and, yes, homelessness.