I wish you peace
But I also wish you the sacred restlessness that comes from being people of conscience living through violent times
May we know the fierce urgency of this time, the clarity of purpose and the purity of heart that our present time calls us to.
We must face our grief
But we must also confront the monstrous forces that seek to feed off of this suffering. So may our grief strengthen us in our resolve.
Mourn the dead, and join the struggle for the living.
This is all nothing new, my friends.
We inherit this struggle from prior generations.
Our forebears have proven that love, hope, and human dignity can triumph over hate, but only at great cost, and only in part.
So now we must do our part.
Holy and merciful God
We pray for all those who are wounded, all those who grieve
Due to the violence of white supremacy
We pray for the healers,
For the witnesses
For those called to the forefront of the struggle for justice.
We pray for those whose hearts are closed and deadened
With hate, who are caught and clenched in the snares of evil
May they become free, may we all become free however we are ensnared
and be transformed in the light of Divine love
We offer ourselves to that transforming light, O beloved God,
And enjoy the ways it connects us, one to the other,
And strengthens our resolve to be people of truth and love.
Call us again to the commitment of our baptism
When we vowed to renounce the powers of evil,
Desire the freedom of new life in Christ
And walk in a way of love, justice, and courage
As best as we can, in our humble ways,
All with your help, O God.
We pray in Jesus’ name
(Address delivered at a candlelight vigil for Heather Heyer and against white supremacy, in Walla Walla WA, August 14, 2017. Prayer offered during Sunday service at First Congregational Church of Walla Walla, August 13, 2017. By Rev. Nathaniel Mahlberg)