The people of the Episcopal and ELCA Lutheran churches of the Kansas City Metro area gathered together on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, in prayer for racial justice held in the grounds of at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City. An estimated 150-200 people attended the event in person. The proceedings were also livestreamed on Facebook.
It was a profound and spirit-filled gathering where we, inspired by scripture and proclamation, lifted our prayers to God with passion and fervor from the core of our beingsBishop Marty
Speaking were the Hon. Emanuel Cleaver II, the Rev. Susan Candea, bishop of the Central States Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Right Rev. Martin S. Field, bishop of the Diocese of West Missouri, and the Right Rev. Cathleen Bascom, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas.
Prayers were led by clergy and laypeople from The Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Speaking after the event, Bishop Marty said, “It was a profound and spirit-filled gathering where we, inspired by scripture and proclamation, lifted our prayers to God with passion and fervor from the core of our beings. I cannot thank enough our hosts, the rector, and people of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City. It was a great joy to share this offering of prayer and to be there as we all turned our hearts and minds to the One who created us and gave us dignity as God’s children. My joy is multiplied because this service was sponsored jointly by the Central States Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Dioceses of Kansas and West Missouri of The Episcopal Church who each were represented in the program by members of their clergy and their laity, as well as their bishops.”
The people of The Episcopal Church in West Missouri are invited to add their voices to those who were present at the June 3 event by praying the Litany of Repentance reproduced below.
Litany of Repentance
Dear people of God, our history is marred by oppression, by the enslavement of those who differ from us, and by the forces of racism that attack human dignity. The sin of racism is woven into our lives and our cultures, in small and great ways, in things done and things left undone.
As followers of Christ, we reject racism and the oppression of other human beings. In building Christ’s beloved community, we must strive to love all people, respect all people, and work for the good of all people. We must stand alongside God’s children of every race, language, and culture, and work together as agents of justice, peace, and approach God and humbly confess our sins: our participation in racism, our privilege based on racism, and our perpetuation of racism.
Silence is then kept for a time.
God the Father, you freed your people from slavery in Egypt, yet the legacy of slavery deforms our lives today. Have mercy on us.
God the Son, you prayed that all would be united in your love and service, yet the divisions among us rend your body. Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, you inspire us to live peaceably with all, yet the stain of genocide and internment mars our striving for justice. Have mercy on us.
We have harmed one another and the earth through negligence, greed, and self-interest. Have mercy on us.
We have failed to condemn discrimination that leads to unrest. Have mercy on us.
We have decried violence, while overlooking inequity and frustration from which it rises. Have mercy on us.
We have practiced injustice for economic gain and have oppressed others to make a false peace. Have mercy on us.
We have sought comfort in advantage for ourselves at the cost of injustice for others. Have mercy on us.
We have welcomed solace over conflict and ignored the cries of those harmed by our comfort. Have mercy on us.
We have grasped for this world’s goods and been arrogant toward those who have little. Have mercy on us.
We have not shared the good things we have been given and blamed the poor for their poverty. Have mercy on us.
We have been fearful and distrustful of those who are different from us. Have mercy on us.
We have divided ourselves from others and refused to listen to or believe their experience. Have mercy on us.
We have been indifferent to the pain and suffering of our sisters and brothers. Have mercy on us.
We have held in contempt those who need our help, and not loved them with our whole hearts. Have mercy on us.
We have been self-satisfied in our privilege and denied our oppression of others. Have mercy on us.
We have preferred order over justice, and isolation over the struggle for peace. Have mercy on us.
We have quietly held good intentions and kept silent the message of reconciliation. Have mercy on us.
We have failed to act with courage for the sake of love. Have mercy on us.
Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy.
May Almighty God have mercy on us, grant us courage and conviction, and strengthen us to love others who are unlike us. May God, the Holy and Undivided Trinity, make us compassionate in our actions and courageous in our works, that we may see Christ’s Beloved Community in our day. Amen.