Prayer following Charleston

Spirit of Life, God of Many Names, Source of Love,

We grieve with the Charleston community, and the good people of the Bethel AME church, which suffered tragedy this week. We remember now their names:

Cynthia Hurd

Susie Jackson

Ethel Lance

Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor

The Honorable Rev. Clementa Pinckney

Tywanza Sanders

Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr.

Rev. Sharonda Singleton

Myra Thompson

Mother of Justice, open our nation’s eyes to what is so clear before us.

Open our hearts wide – wide enough to wake our country from it’s place of stupor and complacency.

Teach us that black lives matter;

that all life is sacred,

and that each of us are called to craft communities centered in justice and peace.

In the stunned aftermath of Charleston,

stop us from filling the awkward silences,

with the same old trite answers,

that bring us back to this place,

again and again.

Renew our commitment to the work at hand;

empower us to reach out to our neighbor,

and begin a new day,

with the hope of another way,

and the will to challenge the lies of racism,

in our schools,

and in our Zoning Boards,

and in the halls of our government.

Our nation has come so far along the path of equality,

and yet we are see the long history of racism move among us.

Help us to never confuse the progress we’ve made,

with the illusion that the work is now done.

Tending communities of justice and love,

take the work of the hands, and the heart, and the soul,

day after day, lifetime after lifetime.

We pray for the strength to do such sacred work.

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