Hope Will Not Disappoint Us
A Prayer of Confession
O Gracious God, today we draw near to the fourth anniversary of that horrible event when racial hatred again crashed dramatically into South Carolina; when nine precious lives of “Mother Emanuel” AME Church were taken from us.
This unspeakable tragedy warrants our awareness of the evil power of racial division carried to an unspeakable extreme. We pray that our souls become more open to the subtle ways that racial sin makes its way into our lives, both individually and within the human community.
We therefore acknowledge, O God, our need for forgiveness of those attitudes and actions that block the pathway toward racial justice and healing. We bring a contrite heart to these issues through the loving spirit of Jesus Christ.
• We confess we protect ourselves by remaining lodged in comfort zones of numbness. The continual flow of such sinfulness so brutally seen at Mother Emanuel and other places grinds our spirits down. We need saving from drifting into our secure refuge.
• We confess our human tendency to point out differences. We confess that we have made an idol of skin color. This fixation through the ages has resulted in wars and struggles for racial domination. It spawned White privilege and exceptionalism. It causes irreparable harm to our brothers and sisters and to ourselves.
• We lament, O God of us all, that the oppressive heritage of slavery still divides us. Racism’s grasp on systems such as education, healthcare, and criminal justice continues to oppress. Many love their neighbors while blindly benefiting from the same oppression that holds their neighbors back.
Forgive us, O God, for the sin of racism. Strengthen us on the journey toward racial justice. Weave us into a united humankind—a seamless and beautiful garment of many colors. For indeed, your hope does not disappoint us. Amen.
By Reverend Dr. Thomas A. Summers
United Methodist Minister (Retired)
A Father’s Day Prayer for Racial Justice on Trinity Sunday
Loving God, Father of all that is, you are the source of life
and you have made this universe good.
You have made us to be in communion with you
and each other both now and in eternity.
Re-create us and our society, marred by the sin of racial injustice,
So that together we reflect the original goodness of creation.
Lord, Jesus Christ, Incarnate Word of God,
You revealed the depths of Divine Love by taking on our human condition.
The Spirit anointed you to bring glad tidings to the poor,
liberty to captives, sight to the blind, and freedom to the oppressed.
Anoint us on this day when we celebrate fatherhood
to be bearers of the same mission
and to bring about something of the jubilee year
that you announced for this world, still so lacking in justice.
O Holy Spirit, set our society on fire with concern
and compassion for the poor,
the incarcerated, the disabled, and those subject to oppression.
Wherever society has turned its back on those who suffer
or wherever it has fomented hostility and violence against others
because of race or ethnicity, blow winds of change.
Inspire prophets to speak on behalf of the oppressed,
embolden leaders to cast a renewed vision of the beloved community,
and imbue the Church with courage to stand for what is right.
Triune God, we ask your blessing upon fathers this day.
Bless those men who serve as models of maturity.
Bless the elders who accompany us.
Bless those who strive under difficult circumstances
to provide for their families and to live in dignity.
Bless those who are struggling to overcome the enduring legacy of racism that
has diminished their ability to live full lives together with their families.
Empower all fathers—
may they find grace and fulfillment
in their role as parents.
We ask your blessing, also, gracious God, on all women—
inspire in our society and world
a deeper recognition their equality and dignity.
together with the fathers of their children,
help them to be strong teachers of faith
and providers of a loving upbringing for their children.
Finally, bless all children—
may they grow—in age, wisdom, and grace—into mature adulthood,
and may they bring delight to their parents and families.
Knowing that your hope will not disappoint us,
we ask all this of you,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in your holy name. Amen
By Father Sandy McDonald, Pastor
St. John Neumann Catholic Church
Columbia, South Carolina