This prayer was offered by Rev. Kathleen Owens at an Interfaith Vigil honoring Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile, Friday, July 15, 2016
"Spirit of Life…God of many names and no names…we are here today in grief, in mourning for the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile – two African American men who are tragically representative of so many African Americans who have been killed by excessive police force…killed by questionable means…dead due to systemic racism, not only in our society but within the very structures and systems that are supposed to keep people safe…that are supposed to help and not harm. Dear God, we are angry; our hearts are broken, our heads ache trying to make any sense out of all of this and our spirits are weary of the constant stream of violence that divides the human family. With all of this, it is too easy to give in to despair, give in to apathy, to give in to hate and revenge…but God we know you call us to be better than that; Spirit of Love you lead us into another way; you call us into action, into solidarity with one another, so that we might demonstrate the truth that hate and racism will not divide us; that bigotry and violence will not stop us from living out the truth that we are all connected and that it is long-past time for us to see one another clearly, it is time for us to do the work of justice for all our neighbors and kin; it is time to find a way beyond stereotypes and fear and create meaningful change in our streets and in our neighborhoods…give us strength to do the hard work of real relationship building – give us patience to learn and listen to one another – give us courage to speak out against white privilege and systemic racism; give us the wisdom to work with leaders and officers that will ensure equal protection under the law for ALL of US; …help us oh God to continue the work for racial justice. This we ask in the name of all that is holy. Amen."
A Statement from our Ministers:
We are shocked – again – by the unprovoked killing of yet another African American man, most recently in Minneapolis, MN. Our hearts are broken for his family and his community. And we know many of us do not have the luxury of begin shocked by an event like this one. What some might see as series of isolated incidents or a system broken and in need of fixing is experienced as the reality of daily life by our neighbors and kin of color. We live in a world where people of color, immigrants, the poor, and the marginalized are stigmatized, criminalized, and feared. Where the systems of justice and finance are designed to serve the few at the cost of the lives and livelihoods of the many. Where we are taught to value white lives and bodies over the lives and bodies of people of color. This is not acceptable.
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