In Response to Charlottesville

08/17/2017

by Peter Whitelock

Categories: Special Events

The Session and leadership of LOPC stand firmly in opposition to the hatred and violence witnessed in Virginia this past week. Racism must be resisted in all its forms, and it is incompatible with authentic Christian faith. We concur with this statement by our Presbyterian Seminary in the West (SFTS), and we are answering the call to combat racism this coming year through anti-bias training in our children’s ministry, a Racial Intersection workshop, producing a series of short videos for families on kindness and inclusivity, developing interfaith family service groups, and more.

Full statement here: https://sfts.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/SFTS-CIM-Charlottesville-Statement-FINAL.pdf

Pastoral Prayer

Lord God, you are the God of Faithfulness, committed to all your created beings, faithfully committed to all humanity.  You have always been vigilant in love over us and commending grace to us more than we truly deserve. We lift our prayers to you this morning honestly expressing that we are struggling with our own faith, besieged with emotions from the events of the week; we aren’t even sure if our prayers make a difference, but still, we will muster what faith we have, and will trust that your providence is far greater than our doubt.

We pray for our nation, a nation at war with one another.  We pray for our community leaders, and our national leaders that they will show courage and fortitude to stand against bigotry, to stand against the vitriol of white supremacist voices. We pray for your church that we will be bold enough to voice and to live with fearlessness, generosity, humility, purpose, that we will stand for peace and for justice, sowing seeds of love in the places of hate and violence.

Lord God, in the face of international terrorism, we have witnessed yet again, mind numbing images of destruction. And so today, we want to lift up the family of a local resident who was killed in Spain this week. We keep in our prayers the family of Jared Tucker and ask on their behalf, your warm comfort and your care. Walk with them O Lord God that in their grief there will be hope.

Gracious, omnipotent God, in the face of evil and darkness, we cry out to you; though we may feel powerless and anxious, we look to Jesus, the light of the world.  We pray that we will be like Jesus, leaning into a life of righteousness and grace, of service with humility, and in these uncertain times, courage to live in truth and to speak with truth.

Lord, hear our collective voices as we pray:  Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever, amen.

Prayer for Reconciliation -Pastor Lauren Gully

God whose voice spoke creation into being, who ordered chaos in creation and set limits to the sea, who said “let there be” and there was; words have become cheap. We are tired of trying to speak sense into the seas of torches of supremacy that have been burning for years. The words of evil voices are all around us chanting hate.  We are now up to our necks. We need your help in raising our voices above the chaos of hate, violence, and racism now. We are calling out to you!

Just as you sent your Son, who was your word, and lifted his own voice against injustice–

Speak your love into creation again.

Give words to those who have been silent in apathy. Let the chants rise of those pursuing justice. Help this world sing a new song. Help us to sing our anxiety into action, our discrimination into decency, our hate into humility. We will sing together your song of love, which is truer, stronger, and is always the last word. Amen!