|Photo Credit: Natalie Bender; FPC Manhattan, KS|
We believe that you have entrusted us "with the message of reconciliation in and through Jesus Christ"; that we, as the church, "are called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, that the church is called “blessed" because it is a peacemaker, that the church is witness both by word and by deed to the new heaven and the new earth in which righteousness dwells. That Your lifegiving Word and Spirit has conquered the powers of sin and death, and therefore also of irreconciliation and hatred, bitterness and enmity, that Your lifegiving Word and Spirit will enable the church to live in a new obedience which can open new possibilities of life for society and the world; that the credibility of this message is seriously affected and its beneficial work obstructed when it is proclaimed in a land which professes to be Christian, but in which the enforced separation of people on a racial basis promotes and perpetuates alienation, hatred and enmity; that any teaching which attempts to legitimate such forced separation by appeal to the gospel, and is not prepared to venture on the road of obedience and reconciliation, but rather, out of prejudice, fear, selfishness and unbelief, denies in advance the reconciling power of the gospel, must be considered ideology and false doctrine."
Therefore, empower us today to gather together with people of other races and colors and cultures and seek to mend the wounds left by the violence we have seen and heard over the last several weeks. We continue to lift up the people of Orlando, Baghdad, Istanbul, Baton Rogue, Minnesota, Dallas, and the dear people of our own community. We pray for the police officers who continually seek to create relationships of trust with the same people they are charged to protect. We pray for those who feel the effects of our troubled American history as a country which pushed aside the native peoples we discovered and then abused the native people we purchased and brought here as slaves.
Strengthen and embolden us to share the ministry and experience of reconciliation in Christ. Soften our hearts to respond with compassion, harden our feet to walk the treacherous road before us, and open our hands to receive the friendship and companionship of our fellow Americans, our fellow Christians, and our fellow Earthlings. Lead us by your son, Jesus Christ, we pray, as he taught us, Our Father...