Tonight, and in the days just past, your people in the United States have begun a new round of suffering, assaulted by the violence of racial disregard, lethal fear and reactive pain. We are hurting one another and the least stable among us, including cowering snipers, will surely offer new violence and provocation in the days ahead.
Protect us all, we pray. Help us breathe in your Holy Spirit to calm our fear and stem our desire for revenge. Protect those in public service, especially those who have taken an oath to protect and serve as police officers. We remember the family and friends of these public servants for they are beyond power and tonight lost in fear for their loved ones. The days ahead are frightening for children of every race and class.
We confess our normal safety in a world regularly visited by such violence and tonight we remember Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and refugees everywhere, struggling to find such safety as we regularly assume. Many of us are privileged beyond imagination.
Yet there are those among us who cannot trust anything like regular safety in our own country. We confess a persistent and violent racial bias and mistrust which in some leads to horrible violence against others. Despite years of desire to do better in our racial relations we still fall into corrupt patterns of disrespect, including violent disregard. Save us, we pray, from our fear-based discrimination and our casual ignorance of racism in our midst.
In the days ahead we pray you will provoke those of us with easy lives, and skills needed by the human family, to work for peace and to break the horrible rhythms of reactive violence. If necessary call us into the streets to be present as witnesses for your peace. Make us to be a people of your ugly cross, that place where human corruptibility is absorbed in divine love and holy forgiveness. Let our lives witness to your ultimate love for every human being.
We pray in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace and source of Life itself. AMEN
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The Grace Gathering will take place during the four days of Churchwide Assembly, beginning on Wednesday evening (August 10) and continuing through Saturday morning (August 13). The purpose of the Grace Gathering is to give ELCA members an opportunity to experience the ELCA when it is gathered as the Churchwide Assembly and to learn about the breadth and depth of the ELCA’s ministries. The Grace Gathering is also an opportunity for participants to prepare for observing the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation and to explore its significance for life and ministry today.
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