Read by Pastor Jim Doepken of Girdwood Chapel at GABI’s grand opening party and first annual Ice Cream Social and Open House:
We have gathered here today to bless the Girdwood Alaska Backpackers Inn, to dedicate this hostel to friendship and understanding, and to ensure peace be with this hostel and all who visit here.
We dedicate this hostel to the Hostelling International mission statement: To help all, especially the young, gain a greater understanding of the world and its people through hostelling.
We dedicate this hostel to the Girdwood Alaska Backpackers Inn mission statement: To help all, especially the young at heart, gain a greater understanding of the joys of living a frugal, thrifty and creative life.
We light a candle to friendship.
May good food and great ideas be shared and the individuality of each person who visits here appreciated.
May all who come and share in fellowship in this room weave a
strong cloth together, binding the strings of friendship and companionship.
May we keep up with friends through the Girdwood Alaska Backpackers Inn Facebook fan page.
We light a candle to joy.
May joy and peace surround you, contentment latch your door, may your troubles be less, and your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your front door.
May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings, slow to make enemies, and quick to make friends. But rich or poor, quick or slow, may you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.
We light a candle to hospitality.
Let us share the hospitality of this hostel with all who visit, that those who enter here may know friendship and peace. Let this be a place where neighbors, family, friends and strangers gather to rejoice in life and to enjoy fellowship with one another.
We light a candle to appreciation.
We dedicate this hostel to the appreciation of all things good and true.
May there always be work for your hands to do – may your purse always hold a coin or two – may the sun always shine warm on your windowpane – may a rainbow be certain to follow each rain – may the hand of a friend always be near you – and may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.
We light a candle to creativity.
May the books bring wisdom, the pictures symbolize things beautiful, and the music bring joy and inspiration.
May the hostel blogs inspire laughter, poetry, music and creative comments.
We light a candle to healthy spinach.
May the fish named Jackie O, eat, excrete and fertilize healthy spinach for Brandon to harvest and feed to hungry visitors.
We light a candle to peace.
May all who enter feel peace within and show peace without, living in harmony with others and in balance with the rhythms of nature. May we all walk peacefully on this Earth as we travel together around the Sun.
Irish Blessing: Bless this hostel. Make it safe by night and day. Bless these walls so firm and stout, keeping want and trouble out. Bless the roof and chimney tall, let thy peace lie over all. Bless the hearth and bless the board, and bless each place of rest. Bless each door that opens wide to strangers and to kin. And bless each crystal window pane that lets the starlight in.
May you always be blessed; with walls for the wind, a roof for the rain, a warm cup of tea by the fire, laughter to cheer you, those you love near you and all that your heart may desire –old Gaelic blessing.
Brandon thanks the community of Girdwood and introduces Jim Doepken
Amy hula hooping with Vera Crews, president of the HI-Alaska council
Isaac and the Awkward Situations
Pretty Birds that Kill
Thanks to the travelers and locals of all ages who attended GABI’s first annual ice cream social! Thanks also to The Ice Cream Shop, Coast Pizza, and Glacier Valley Coffee for providing delicious snacks. Big thanks to Isaac and the Awkward Situations and Pretty Birds that Kill for fun music.