a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Confession: we have been silent

God of Love and Justice,
we know your heart is breaking for us.
You taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves,
but we harbor prejudice and resentment
that leads us to violence.
You taught us that you love us all,
citizen and stranger,
no matter the color of our skin or the sound of our voice,
and yet we persist in defending the actions
of those who demean and threaten people you love.
We confess that we have been silent when we should have stood up to the signs of prejudice and selfishness.
We confess that we have excused racism as ignorance,
when we should have taught awareness and care.
We confess that we are blind to the insidious ways the habits of white supremacy infiltrate our lives, because we are afraid to discover we have been part of the problem too.
Loving God, remind us that you already forgave our sin,
and now call us to sin no more.
Replace our fear with boldness and our anxiety with conviction.
Help us be light in a world that has chosen darkness for too long.

Submitted by Rev. Lisa M López, Christ Presbyterian Church, Hanover Park, IL

Approach and Confession: complicit

Most loving and gracious God, we give you thanks for your unending faithfulness. We come into your presence with praise and with hope, for you are good, and you call us your own. You created us in your image, and you shepherd us through this life, calling us by name and leading us in your way. We confess that we, like sheep, have gone astray. We have wandered from your path, choosing to walk in shadow rather than light. We have built fences and believed they make us better neighbors, we have created requirements and believed they were yours, we have stood silent as the door was shut, we have called for peace without working for justice. Forgive us, Lord. Forgive our inadequate imaginations, for we cannot see the height and depth and breadth of your love. Forgive our closed eyes and hearts and minds, keeping the light at bay. Forgive our complicity in the systems of injustice that make the world go round. Open us to know your truth, and to live according to your word. Help us to experience the fullness of your grace, and then make us true reflections of that grace for others. Guide us once again into the abundant life that you desire for all creation. We ask in the name of the One whose love we see on the cross and in the empty tomb, Jesus the Christ. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Marchmont St. Giles Parish Church, Edinburgh, Scotland

POP–after Charleston

Oh God, Oh God, Why have you forsaken me?

Jesus cries out from the Cross, and the Psalmist cries out from the depth of despair. But, we your faithful people know that you are never far from our cries. You were with Christ upon the Cross, you were with the Psalmist in the darkness, and you were with the 9 victims in Charleston. You weep with those who weep and mourn with those who mourn.

We remember those who were murdered on holy ground – in your very house – and we pray that they are raised as saints eternal…

Sharonda Coleman-Singleton
Reverend Clementa Pinckney
Cynthia Hurd
Tywanza Sanders
Myra Thompson
Ethel Lee Lance
Daniel L. Simmons
Rev. Depayne Middleton-Doctor
Susie Jackson

Welcome these beloved children into your glorious kingdom.

We pray for the Community of Mother Emmanuel AME Church. We pray for the families, the friends, and the community shaken by this terrible crime. God, you are never far from the words of our groaning; send your spirit of comfort and healing upon Charleston.

We pray for all victims of racially-motivated violence. We pray especially for Haitians in the Dominican Republic, who too are targeted as victims of racial violence; and for the Church of Fishes and Loaves in the West Bank who were attacked by arsonists. God, do not be far from your children in their time of trouble.

God we pray for our community leaders and our national leaders. Give them a spirit of boldness, that they may be willing to confront this giant of racism. Give them hearts full of righteousness and yearning for justice.

We are poured out like water. Our hearts are like wax and melt in our chests.
Send your peace upon us, O God. Send your spirit of wisdom that we may see the ways we participate in sinful systems. Give us the courage to confront our own complacency, and the strength to change.

Merciful God, we pray even for our enemies. We pray for those who hurt and harm. We pray for Dylan Roof, and other like him, that you may break their hearts. That you make take their hearts of stone and replace it with a heart of repentance and love. We pray that you deliver those who are mangled by hate from themselves, and give them a spirit of resurrection.

God of all nations and families, we pause and in silence lift the prayers of our hearts up to you…

God you are the deliverer of the nations. You are proclaimed from every corner of the earth. Hear our prayers, our petitions, and lamentations that we turn over to you, our refuge and our rock. We pray all things in the name of Jesus Christ, the Risen Lord, Amen.

Rev. Laura Brekke, Santa Clara University chaplain, Santa Clara, CA