Category Archives: Racism

January 31, 2016–Breaking the barriers

Gracious God,

Surely you have a wry sense of humor!
50 degree weather in Chicago in January…
Talk about breaking barriers
and disrupting false notions of the boundaries we hold!

And we do hold them tightly, don’t we?
Some subconsciously;
Some quite consciously.
Often out of nostalgia.

Whether it be documented or undocumented;
Black or White;
orthodox or heretic;
rich or poor;
Ohio State or Michigan…

We love our boundaries!

But this weekend you remind us,
even in something as simple as surprisingly warm weather,
of the joy of boundaries broken.

And our prayer time functions to remind us further that boundaries are fluid–
sacred/profane
human/divine
public/private…

And our act of lifting our prayers up to you
disrupts the notion of a separation of me/you… of I/Thou.

We hold these prayers up together, collectively,
as OURS–shared in a radical act of hospitality.
We shoulder each other’s joys and concerns.

[read aloud the prayer cards]

And we acknowledge that even in our most hospitable moments
some things feel too heavy a burden to share,
or too private a thought to voice aloud.
To these we trust in your unfailing ability to hear us in our silence.

[pause for silent prayer]

We trust you to hear us in our silence!

The same trust helps us see your love, renewed each morning.
We trust that you are working for good in the world.

Stir up in us a desire to serve
and to live peaceably.

Help us to devote ourselves to the traditions of Jesus–who broke barriers;
cared for those in need;
reached out to the disenfranchised;
who taught us to see each other.

Teach us how to best love one another!

Blessed Be!

 

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Filed under Inclusion, Public Theology, Racism, Uncategorized

April 18, 2014–‘Good’ Friday

Today we mourn.

We grieve for all those who have been unjustly accused;
unjustly prosecuted;
unjustly punished;
unjustly killed.

We pray for those we know who are perpetually put in these unjust situations.
We pray for our Latina/o friends,
our African-American friends,
our poor friends,
our gay friends
–for all our friends who are ‘suspect’.

We repent of participation in systems of such abuse.
God forgive me.
God forgive us.

Open our eyes!
Open our ears!
Open our hearts!

Teach us to be different.
And to love difference.

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Filed under Homosexuality, Justice, Poverty, Public Theology, Racism

50th Anniversary of the March on Washington -August 25, 2013

God of justice and mercy,

We remember this weekend the March on Washington
and the demand for peace
for justice
for dignity.

50 years have passed and much has changed.
Yet 50 years have passed and too much remains the same.

Open our minds so that we can dream again your dreams
Open our hearts so that we can reflect your justice and mercy
And be changed.

Show us how to best love one another, as we lift up the prayers of this community.

[read aloud the prayers of the congregation]

And we acknowledge those prayers
-those sacred joys and passionate concerns-
which are too tender or feel to fragile to risk speaking aloud.
We lift those up as well.

[pause for silent prayer]

Teach us how to best love one another.
And remind us that even after 50 years
Love is a commitment that must be renewed daily.
It works for good in the world.
It stirs up in us a desire to serve
And to live peaceably.

Help us to devote our days to walking
in the living traditions of Jesus,
helping the poor
tending to those in need
welcoming the disenfranchised and excluded.

Give us the strength to break chains.

Blessed Be!

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Filed under Justice, Peace, Racism