(Adapted from Seeing the Face of God in Each Other: The Antiracism Training Manual of the Episcopal Church Diversity, Social, and Environmental Ministries Team Mission Department of the Episcopal Church Center 2011)
O God, our Creator, who has made us your human children as one family in you, so that what concerns any, must concern all; we confess the evils we have done and the good we have left undone. We have spent our strength too often upon the town of Babel of our own pride. We have forgotten that the city’s foundations, builder and maker is You. We have been content that we ourselves should prosper though many might be poor; that a few should feast while multitudes were famished both in body and in soul. O You, who has taught us that whatsoever we sow, that we shall also reap; help us to repent before your judgment comes. O God, let your redemptive purposes work through us to build a new and better order on this earth, for the blessing of your people and the glory of your name, through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Color-loving, people-loving, almighty Creator, may You guide our responses and initiatives as anti-racist resistance and the struggle for systemic change evolve and grow. Enable us, at last, we pray, to replace the racial paradigm with the doctrine of love, to truly “respect the dignity of every human being,”62 truly to love our neighbors and also ourselves, and to learn the joy of unity within the HUMAN race. In Your diversely understood but singular Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
Prayer of Confession
Gracious God, we confess that we are sinners: We do things that we regret, and we do not even understand why we do them. We leave unsaid and undone thing that would be good for ourselves and kind to others. We compliment ourselves on our religious behavior and are pleased to be seen doing kind deeds. Our generosity is carefully measured against our abundant resources. Merciful God, teach us humility, surprise us with forgiveness and ask of us more than we expect to give. Amen.
(Taken from: The Pattern of Our Days: Worship in the Celtic Tradition from the Iona Community, Kathy Galloway, Paulist Press, An Improbably Gift of Blessing: Prayers and Affirmations to Nurture the Spirit, Maren C Tirabassi & Joan Jordan Grant, United Church Press.)
A Brief Silence Is Kept
Holy God, Maker of All
HAVE MERCY ON US.
Jesus Christ, Servant of the poor
HAVE MERCY ON US.
Holy Spirit, Breath of life
HAVE MERCY ON US.
Let us confess our faults and admit our failings
Before God, with the people of God, I confess to my brokenness.
To the ways I wound myself, others and the world Thereby wounding the heart of Jesus.
May God forgive us, not a superficial forgiveness that is feeling better about ourselves, but a forgiveness that reaches the core and heals the brokenness that is our culture, out relationships, and our depravity--as painful and necessary as that must be.
Make us anew, O God, and show us the way to just peace.
Prayer For Reconciliation
God of all humanity You call us to bring about healing and wholeness for the whole world – for women and men of all races and cultures and creeds. Help us to respond to a world that is groaning under the weight of injustice and broken relationships. Remind us that differences are a gift, And interdependence a strength from the same creative God. Strengthen us to resist the forces that encourage polarization and competition rather than understanding and cooperation. We know that your reign is not built on injustice and oppression, but on the transformation of hearts – new life, not just reordered life. Teach us forgiveness, O God. Bring us reconciliation. Give us hope for the future. We pray in Jesus’ love. Amen
By The Rev'd Dr Sheryl A. Kujawa-Holbrook
Prayer Of Dedication
O God, who created all peoples in your own image, we thank you for the wonderful diversity of races, cultures, orientations, classes, and ethnicities in this world. Enrich our lives by ever-widening circles of friendship and show us your presence in those who differ most from us. We know that you have made us according to your special plan. May we use our diversity to spread your message of love and peace to all the world. This we ask in the sure knowledge of your love for all of your children through Jesus the Christ our Redeemer and Reconciler. Amen.
Prayer For Sending Into the Word
Let us go forth to serve God and all others in the ways of Jesus.
Let us go to be a new and different people, making a new and different world
Let us go to be the people called by God to live in unity that celebrates diversity, to live in equality and equity, to live for the common good of all
Our God, I don’t want my attitudes to be shaped by the injustices that mar society, by the discrimination, greed, and lust that spoil relationships. In Jesus: color does not count, wealth carries no weight, and gender is not important. Help me to live in Jesus, to see people through his eyes, and work for the harmony that reflects your Kin-Dom. Amen.