Oh God, Our Father Earth and Mother Earth,
Help us to center our hearts, our thoughts, our yearnings, to let go of past wrongs and uncertain futures, to let the air out and take a simple breath in – here in the present of your eternal time.
We acknowledge the lands of our ancestors. We honor the Tribes who in their mother tongue call to all nations and corporations to steward the land and waters. We delight in the design of how feeding sediment in rivers builds a rich intertidal zone of life, as described in the Seattle news with the Snohomish Tribal forests (USA) river running to the Puget Sound. Populations of grey whale and the many fold seabirds and the tiny shrimp are rebuilding. Your creation turns destruction into wonder, turns us around in spite of our neglectfulness and disregard. We pause to honor the work of those who said “enough,” who stood up and called for ecologic justice, who went to jail many times till policy was changed to protect the salmon, the rivers, life. We honor their sacrifice for the land and all of its peoples. Lead us back to our connection with the physical earth. May we heed the big and small messages.
Oh God, Keeper of Truth and Comforter, We mourn with families and communities and the Sikh community and the four other victims as details of the mass shooting in Indianapolis, USA unconcealed a hate crime, even while the media and police are silent about this act. Remind us that our spoken words are necessary to carry out justice. Sometimes we must wave and scream and shout to be heard. This is hard. Help us to discern these paths where grief, loss due to violence and systems of white supremacy and oppression push and pull at our very lives.
With the US government’s breaking its long-held silence by voicing its recognition of the Armenian genocide by the Ottoman Empire in 1915, over 100 years ago, we see the varied reactions worldwide. We stand in the gathering dusk and evening this past Friday in Yerevan, Armenia as a memorial takes place. And even with these events we watch in horror as war crimes are newly committed right now to the Tigrayans in Ethiopia. We ask, Lord, that international pressure be placed on leaders and military factions to stop the slaughter and allow humanitarian access. Have mercy on these innocent people. Help us to understand and practice that is never too late to redress wrongs, say that we are sorry, mourn over the many great losses, and take right and swift action.
The world continues to watch with angst as the military in Myanmar severely disrupts its people’s civil life trampling domestic peace and justice. We pray for all leaders under duress as we hear that Aung San Suu Kyi is being tried on pretext of violating official secrets act and four other crimes. The world feels so upside down. How can there be so much killing and malfeasance? We sit with peoples of all faith and no faith and uncertain faith in these times. Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy.
We hear in the news that C.E.O.s of big companies now make, on average, 320 times as much as typical workers at their companies. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Mark 8:34.
Oh God, Father Sky and Mother Sky,
We are stunned at the human capacity to invent and explore as Voyager 1 continues to transmit information since 1977 heading into interstellar space; as we witness computer lead docking of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft arriving at the International Space Station this week. We ask for unity as Canada, Japan, The Russian Federation, The United States, and European Space Agency Member States: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom work together. And in this same week Tianhe or Heavenly Harmony China’s launch of its core module for its first permanent space station is anticipated. As we touch the heavens and the moon and Mars and reach further into space may it be with gentleness and reverence and as good neighbors.
God our Protector,
Each day we hear of the deadly surges, cases spiking, mounting deaths; the stuttering of businesses opening, lockdowns, the discourse around wearing masks and distancing and vaccine sign-ups. Help each of us to understand our role as we enter this second year of COVID19 pandemic and the SarsCoV2 variants. We mourn for those killed and injured during the explosion of oxygen tanks at a hospital in Baghdad, Iraq. The massive blaze that has destroyed portions of the hospital where every resource is badly needed to combat this pandemic is tragic. We grieve with the people of India as we hear where oxygen has run out and staff witness their patients gasping and dying. Lord have mercy. Help the nations that can send supplies, ventilators, oxygen and vaccines to pour from their abundance.
We pray as we hear that of the 55 countries in Africa, 41 have benefitted from the delivery of vaccines via the global-sharing scheme Covax. We are heartened that 38 million doses of vaccine have been delivered to 98 countries under this international collaboration.
We hear of the planning by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity to be held in Kunming, China this year and are heartened. We hear of the United Kingdom reforestation and assessment of its woodland bird and wildlife health. We are fearful of the storms, flooding, forest fires and draughts that occur through the world. Help us to rest in this moment in your goodness and mercy, to safeguard with love and compassion the traveler, immigrant and stranger. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.