Addressing white supremacy

1- God, who searches our hearts and calls us to courage,
as racist violence against your people and the earth persists,
Your spirit groans with us over all that is being lost.

We come together to lament lives burdened and destroyed,
communities criminalized and under-resourced,
families torn apart, and lands stolen and plundered.

Our lives are entangled in a complicated web of systems, histories, and beliefs.
They make it difficult to live as Jesus taught us,
to lay down our lives for our friends,
and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

And so we confess:
Too often, our fear prohibits us from being bold in love.
We do not do enough to hold ourselves, our communities, and those in power
accountable to racial justice.
Rather than cast our lot with the most marginalized,
where race and other injustices wed,
our loyalty is often granted to those most like us.

Though prophets surround us, calling us to live and perceive differently,
we confess, we ignore their pleas.

Hear our hearts, Delivering One:
we do not always recognize the ways we are complicit with white supremacy,
but we know that we are – individually and collectively,
that we strive not to be,
and that we believe, by your power, O God,
we can keep learning,
keep growing,
and disrupt the cycles of racism that run through our lives, our church, and our world.

Forgive us our complacency and lead us on paths of justice.
Not even the forces of white supremacy can overcome the power of your love.
So rise within us and around us, O God,
that your Kindom may come on earth as it is in heaven.
Not one day, but today.
Through Christ,
who liberates the oppressed and
frees the captive heart, we pray,

2 – Holy One, We know that you are the Maker of all.
Your hand, your spirit, your glory is reflected in the beauty of your creation, vast in its manifestation of size, shape, color, and personality.

Each body blessed with the task of opening our eyes to seeing you from a different angle. We carry in our flesh the wonder of your creative self-revealing.
Black bodies are sacred.
Brown bodies are sacred.
White bodies are sacred – and yet… We acknowledge O God that white bodies, though created in goodness, have collectively become reflections not only of you – not only of Love, or Justice, or Compassion, or beauty – but also of a system of violence, power, fear, and greed reigning terror upon others.

White flesh bears testament to white supremacy.

God of resistance, and justice, and righteous anger, make those whose bodies have become signs and symbols of white power, make those who benefit from the powers and privileges of its terror, hear your call – your demand to live, speak, pray, and organize against every manifestation of white supremacy.

Hold accountable all who let you down by letting down their black and brown siblings through apathy or fear or lack of action or selfishness or refusal to own compliance in the violence of it all.

You call all of us to show up.
Help us show up.
May we all show up, and may those who are white seize every opportunity to reject each false proclamation of supremacy made upon their skin. It is the responsibility of those who are white to proclaim – in word and in action – over and over and over:
white supremacy is a lie.
white supremacy is a lie.
white supremacy is a lie.
white supremacy is a lie.

Fill all your people who are committed to resistance with strength and courage and ground them in assurance that in bearing testament to Justice and Love and the belovedness of black lives and brown lives – you are there also.

Hold tenderly all who are afraid.
Weep with all whose hearts are ripped open by each act of violence or injustice. Rage with those who wish to tear down every word, structure, and symbol of racist power.
Give us each the discernment to hear what you would have us do – today and everyday going forward until all your people are free. Amen.

3- God, though we may be quick to pray for your justice to roll down like waters, we can be slow to accept what that may require of us.

We struggle – is justice sweeter than security, than survival, than power, or comfort?

When our hearts are stubborn, grounded more deeply in protecting what is [probably unjustly] ours than in the commitment to collective well-being, soften us.

When our legs shake with fear because we have been trained in maintaining the peace, not rocking the boat, or choosing to get along even when it means upholding harm, give us the courage to act anyway.

When we tremble because our words proclaiming the dignity of our own people or that of others may cost us, steady us.

When we are seduced by theories of change that protect the harmful at the neglect of the harmed, teach us through your prophets.

When we are arrogant or patronizing towards those we have power over, presuming we know their struggles and what it will take to see liberation better than they do, convict us.

When we wonder if we are powerful enough. If we are smart enough. If we are brave enough. If we are strong enough. If we are gentle enough. Assure us, O God, that together, we have everything we need to rise, to rally, to proclaim, to create, to feed, to dream your will into life.

On this day, and always, wherever white surpremacy rears its ugly, evil head, in rallies, in words, in norms, in prayers, in institutions, in relationships, let nothing take precedence over our commitment to Love – Love that overturns evil, Love that protects, Love that lays down its life for its friends, Love that acts in solidarity, Love that refuses to compromise on the belovedness of your people, Love that confronts, Love that heals, Love that looks inward, Love that shuts down hatred.

May our prayers for your justice be enfleshed in our minds, our bodies, our hearts, our commitments.

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