A gathering prayer for liberation

By Rev. Anna Blaedel

Wild and wondrous God
Creator of all
Spirit of life and love and liberation
Mother and Lover and Conspirator and Friend
Tender tender of possibility and dream

You have called us together, in this time, and this place
and so, here we are:
full of wisdom and wondering
full of hope and fear
weariness and longing
passion and pain
Unleash your wild power in us, we pray
Deepen our connection with You and with each other
Deepen our capacity to hear the voices of those too often silenced,
to honor the presence of those too often erased,
to center the wisdoms of those too often pushed to the margins,
That we might bear witness to the complex truths of our wholly holy lives
and the complex needs of your beautiful, broken world.

We remember those who have brought us to this place
who have labored with You
who have labored for us
to make a way out of no way
dreaming dreams and visioning visions
both ancient and new
the communion of prophets, saints, and teachers
queer lovers and freedom fighters and fugitive dreamers
our ancestors
the great cloud of witnesses
those who whisper their wisdom in stories, songs, and poems
those who gave birth to movements
and moments
of liberation
of healing
of justice
of love.

We remember and honor the legacies of resistance
to evil, injustice, and oppression
that have enabled our being
and invited our becoming.

We remember and honor the legacies of faith
in beauty, joy, and gladness
that have enabled our being
and invited our becoming.

So, beloveds: bring your beautiful, messy, aching, wondrous selves.
Bring your laughter.
Bring your rage.
Bring your tears.
Bring your fears.
Bring the insight that only you can offer.
Bring the imagination that bursts open old wineskins.

Because: Divinity dwells in our flesh and our bones.

Because: Divinity delights in that which is other, different, strange
deemed illegal, incompatible, unworthy

Because: Emmanuel, God enfleshed, makes the impossible possible.

Because: We need each other.

Because: “Our liberation is bound up together”

Because: “We must love each other and support each other”

Because: We must fight for each other and learn from each other

Because: “We have nothing to lose but our chains.”

Because: The fear that nothing else is possible is deadening, and deadly.

Because: The “master’s tools will never dismantle this master’s house”
and any house built on white supremacy and colonialism
transphobia and anti-queerness
patriarchy and ableism and classism
will hold all of us captive
and crush all of our dreams

Because: “Freedom is a constant struggle.”
And the labor is hard
but it is holy, too, and there is joy to be found in laboring together.

Because: The healing salve of salvation spills over, overflows, and cannot be controlled or contained.

Because: The Gospel is indeed Good News
and God’s story brings the powerful down from their thrones
and lifts up the lowly
and God’s story is our story
and the story is still being written
and we are writing this story together.

So come, Spirit. Come.
Convict us with curiosity.
Convert us from complacency.
Consecrate us with compassion.
Conspire with us, as we lean into the New Life emerging from the destruction around us.

What do we need to lay down
set aside
offer up
divest from
in order for all of us to be free?

What practices of dominance
investments in supremacy
legacies of violence
do we need to confess
repent of
turn from
and resist
for the sake of our collective soul
for the sake of the kin-dom
for the sake of ecclesia
so that we might become sanctuary for each other
enfleshing new ways of being
with each other
for each other
and with You

May we listen into the chaos
May we lean into possibilities born of tears and sweat and dreams
May we open to Your lure
May we remember our power
May we connect with our Source
May we return, always, to what matters most:

Seeking justice
practicing kindness
deepening into solidarity
with each other
with the Divine
with the entangled, interconnected web of holy life in which we live
and move
and have our being.

May it be so.
May we make it so.


This prayer was originally written as part of the opening for the Our Movement Forward Summit with the following introduction:


Invocation for Our Movement Forward
Rev. Anna Blaedel
Minneapolis, MN
May 17, 2019

Dear, dear ones:
How very good it is to be here, together.
How very beautiful you are, we are, together.

In just a moment, we will invite you to bow your heads
or lift your eyes
or cup your hands
or raise your arms
and deepen your breath
because whatever your posture of prayer
however you open to Spirit
however you ground yourself in Truth
the creative labor before us, here, now, calls for each and every one of us:
we need each other
we need the wisdom and passion and vision and dream that only you can offer
that only we can offer.

The Lorde said—Audre Lorde, that is—
that poetry is a revelatory distillation of experience
the practice of illumination
imagination with insight.

Toni Cade Bambara wrote: the role of the artist is to make revolution irresistible.

We, dear ones, are poets and artists. Seeking illumination. Offering imagination, and insight. Opening to each other, and to these holy and revelatory offerings. Our role is to make a faithful future irresistible, our movement forward is creating and shaping a way of collective flourishing, of intersectional justice, of transformative healing, of liberating love.

Breathe deep, dear ones
deeper yet
Ruach. Spirit. Breath.
We breathe in Spirit. We con-spire together.

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