Our congregation (Open Arms Community of Christ), in cooperation with GALA and members of the Welcoming Community Network (WCN) held a prayer vigil on the World Plaza at Community of Christ Temple on Friday night, June 17.

While we were not touched directly by the shootings in Orlando, we have many friends who are part of the LGBTQ communities and who have been shaken and made afraid by the shootings.

We recognize that action needs to be taken…that far too often we say “Never again”…but do nothing to make those words real.

However, we are also a people of faith who believe in the power of prayer. And so Friday night, we gathered together…at a place where the world is laid out before us…at a place dedicated to peace, reconciliation, and healing of the spirit. We hugged each other…we worshiped together…we remembered the names of those whose lives were lost…and we prayed–individually (leaving written prayers on a prayer wall) and as a body.

I was privileged to offer the prayer for the body. These were my words last night, and they continue to be my words today…and for the future.

Oh, God…

There are so many names! So many families left in shock and despair. So many hopes and dreams left in ruins…

And we wonder…what can we do?

We gather together in this place dedicated to peace…healing…reconciliation…as a community in pain. So many have lost friends in the past and had begun to hope that things were changing…only to wake up to the news that hate had claimed yet more lives.

And we wonder…what can we do?

Sometimes what we can do seems so little. And yet, when we do small things with great love, we begin to heal…we begin to reconcile. We hug each other, remembering that you healed people with a touch…Give us faith that we can help bring comfort and healing into bodies and spirits that have been broken by violence.

Yet we wonder…is it enough?

When we are afraid to speak out for justice, remind us that there can be no peace without justice…and that sometimes it only takes one person to give others the courage to speak.

And we wonder…is it enough?

In times like this, it is easy to be filled with anger towards those who bring violence and oppression. Yet you call us to pray for them…and it is in that praying that we see them also as wounded sons and daughters.

And we wonder…is it enough?

Loving God, we pray this day in thanksgiving for those first responders who brought immediate care for the wounded and hurting. We pray for comfort for those who mourn the loss of sons, daughters, parents, lovers. We pray for peace for those who survived…who still see the nightmare of those hours.

And we pray most of all that we will each of us find ways to be peacemakers in our families, our communities, our world. In a time when it would be easy to give in to the toxic visions around us that spawn cynicism, suspicion, and violence, may we choose to live in the reconciling, healing, saving vision of Christ expressed through Christ-centered community…a community where tears are shared when in pain, but also a community where hope can be found…a community that can live in such a way that the day will come when we can say, “it is enough.”

May we be that community, we pray in the name of Jesus the Christ, the Prince of Peace.

One thought on “Prayer

  1. Reblogged this on darren's thinking and commented:
    Pam is a friend and fellow member/minister in Community of Christ. If you are in the Kansas City area and looking for a church home that is welcoming, affirming, and draws the circle wide, I invite you to visit Pam’s congregation. Open Arms Community of Christ.

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