Amazing God of creation, who molded everything and everyone and called it good and who made all humankind in your image, we give you thanks and bless your name this day. As we gather to do the business of the Chautauqua UCC Society, we cannot proceed without acknowledging the reality of your world and especially that of our nation. In fear for our lives, we live at a distance for even those we love because of Covid-19. As states open up again, we fear the return of the Covid beast. Help us, we pray, to be strong and to do all we can to keep others safe. And, on this Juneteenth, we remember the historical horrors of slavery, Jim Crow and lynchings and we acknowledge that those horrors have never really stopped. Black and brown bodies lie dead on our streets for no reason other than the color of their skin. This must change and we who are white must change. We must acknowledge the privilege that the accident of being born white has allowed us. And we must work to change the systems and institutions and attitudes that our ancestors put into place to support and perpetuate racism that is embedded in our nation and in us. We must take this up as a holy task and see it through to its completion. No more by and by, no more someday. We need, as Otis Moss says, a moral revival and a spiritual revolution. Now is the time, God give us the strength to answer your call, your personal call, to each of us, to work for justice for all, to end the tears of black mothers, to free black and brown people from their mortal fear of the police and their suspicion of well meaning whites. Give us strength God to become a part of an ongoing movement to protect black lives. Help us to create and build long term commitment to liberation, equality and healing. Give us the wherewithal to repair the broken places, policies and agencies in our culture and country. Help us to reach out to all of those in our society who are disenfranchised and with them step into a new future of equality and better yet, equity. With your help O God, we pray. Amen
Peggy O’Connor, Chaplain Administrator for the Chautauqua United Church of Christ 2nd half of season 2021, , offered this prayer at a recent CUCCS Board Meeting. Ordained in the United Church of Christ, she is recently retired from serving UCC churches in transition as Intentional Interim.