Praying the News
RACISM AND WHITE SUPREMACY IN 2017
On August 12 and 13, neo-Nazis and white supremacists, including Ku Klux Klan members, gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia to protest the city's plans to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Against their fire lit march and chants of "Jews will not replace us" counter-protestors showed up to drown out their hate-filled speech and actions. Counter-protestor thirty-two year old Heather Heyer was killed and more than thirty others were injured when one man drove his car into a crowd of counter-protestors.
Nationally there has been a bi-partisan response against hate-speech and actions and a sobering recognition of the racism that poisons white America. Sadly, racism is not new or novel; in 1993, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America published its social statement, “Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity and Culture.” (Read the whole statement.)
How can I help?
If you do not experience racism, listen without becoming defensive. Know that you have permission to be uncomfortable. You may not be responsible for the mistakes that were made by others, but you are responsible for the actions you take now.
Privilege is not a liberal invention. Privilege recognizes that in the United States, Christians can wear symbols of our religion without fear of hate- speech or blatant violence toward us. Other religious groups cannot. Privilege recognizes that in the United States, white people have the option of walking away or staying home from discussions about racism. People of color don't because they live in their skin all the time.
Pray for healing and reconciliation. Pray for conversations and dialog between people who disagree about the scope of the problem and the ways to address racism and the education that is needed.
Let us pray...
O God, our emancipator,
we lift before you the city of Charlottesville, especially victims of violence and those gathered in support of peace and equality.
Give us courage to speak out against the sin of racism.
Compel us to stand in solidarity.
By your might, break the bondage that bigotry, hatred and violence impose on their victims and their perpetrators.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Images like the one of the young Syrian boy who was pulled from the dusty rubble of a building that had just been bombed remind us of the very human toll of the Syrian crisis. Until the conflict ends, innocent civilians continue to be caught in the crossfire and are in dire need of protection. While safe return home and integration in their country of first asylum is the best solution for most refugees, there is a growing percentage of Syrians that are in need of safety and resettlement in a new country.
How can I help?
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is standing in solidarity with the 5 million vulnerable Syrian refugees who are fleeing life-threatening conditions Share information with family and friends to educate them about the need of so many people, including a high percentage of Syrian children, who are in need of temporary safety as a refugee in the U.S.
Donate - By making a gift today you help LIRS build welcoming communities for Syrian refugees and advocate on their behalf.
Our Gracious Lord,
There are many in Your world today who have been forced from their homes by persecution and violence.
Keep them in your constant care, and bring them to a place of safety.
Be the Good Shepherd to refugees who are in flight. Guide them to the green pastures of safety.
Be the Everlasting Father to refugees who have lost home and loved ones. Lead, protect and provide for them.
Be the Great Physician to refugees who are suffering. Grant them healing and hope.
Be the Hiding Place to refugees who are languishing in camps. Shelter their souls as well as their bodies.
Be the Deliverer to refugees who have been able to return home. Restore their lives so that those who have sown in tears may reap in joy.
Be the Wonderful Counselor to refugees who have been resettled. Help them find their way in a new land.
Be the Giver of all good gifts to those who serve refugees. Empower them to do justice and love mercy and walk humbly with You.
Be the Lord of lords to all the earth, that those who rule would do so in justice and righteousness, and no one would have to become a refugee anymore.
We ask these things in the precious and powerful name of Jesus.
(prayer provided by LIRS)