Author Topic: A Service of Prayer and Lament  (Read 3171 times)

Eileen Smith

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A Service of Prayer and Lament
« on: July 09, 2016, 08:10:10 AM »
http://www.elca.org/blacklivesmatter

If I've not done this properly, you may go to: www.elca.org/blacklivesmatter to see and/or hear the Service of Prayer and Lament led by Bishop Eaton.  The link was shared with people in our congregation and the comments that have come in allow that it was very healing to all who are struggling with the news of yet more Black men killed, and the murder of five police officers. 

This was passed along to me as a very good resource:  http://www.tolerance.org/teaching-about-ferguson
 

Eileen Smith

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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2016, 08:11:33 AM »
An excerpt from the homily of Pope Francis's on the occasion of his visit to the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa, where he mourned the would-be immigrants who have lost their lives trying to get from Africa to Europe.  I thought the words very appropriate for us at this time.

“Adam, where are you?” “Where is your brother?” These are the two questions that God puts at the beginning of the story of humanity, and that He also addresses to the men and women of our time, even to us. But I want to set before us a third question: “Who among us has wept for these things, and things like this?” Who has wept for the deaths of these brothers and sisters? Who has wept for the people who were on the boat? For the young mothers carrying their babies? For these men who wanted something to support their families? We are a society that has forgotten the experience of weeping, of “suffering with”: the globalization of indifference has taken from us the ability to weep! In the Gospel we have heard the cry, the plea, the great lament: “Rachel weeping for her children . . . because they are no more.” Herod sowed death in order to defend his own well-being, his own soap bubble. And this continues to repeat itself. Let us ask the Lord to wipe out [whatever attitude] of Herod remains in our hearts; let us ask the Lord for the grace to weep over our indifference, to weep over the cruelty in the world, in ourselves, and even in those who anonymously make socio-economic decisions that open the way to tragedies like this. “Who has wept?” Who in today’s world has wept?

Dave Benke

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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2016, 08:55:13 AM »
I posted this yesterday on Facebook:

Officer Rafael Ramos lived a block from St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, NY. His children went to our Pre-School. His nephew attends our homework help program. His body was buried less than a mile from our church in 2014. Officer Peter Figoski was killed three blocks from St. Peter's in 2011, and I prayed at his memorial on site last winter. The families of the officers killed and injured in Dallas are part and parcel of the living prayer life of our church.

At the same time, our parishioners and their friends have been profiled, stopped and harassed by the police and by citizens on the street because of the color of their skin, because of their accented English, because of their countries of origin or perceived countries of origin. The families of those killed needlessly and recklessly by police officers, most recently in Baton Rouge and Minnesota, and even in our own neighborhood this past week, are part and parcel of the living prayer life of our church.

Violence begets violence, and the response of communities of faith rings out for justice. "Vengeance is mine," says the Lord; "I will repay." This speaks directly to those who take the law into their own hands, either under auspices of a badge or as those who take reparation with bullets. Neither is blessed or sanctioned by the Almighty.

St. Peter's has hosted two "Gun Buy-Back" events, one the week after Officer Figoski was killed, and the other a week after the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. Hundreds of weapons were returned, including assault weapons. Positive action by God's faithful is not optional at this time. Our lives matter in God's economy, across all lines of demarcation. We have been baptized for this moment.

Living in New York, and shepherding a racially, ethnically and social-class diverse congregation, I pledge on behalf of God's people at St. Peter's to promote peace at the same time as promoting justice; to live as soldiers of the cross of Christ to bring healing in society and human hearts; to work with law enforcement and community officials; and to "trust not in princes," but in the Prince of Peace.

Dave Benke

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2016, 08:58:31 AM »
Thank you, Bishop.  Fair and balanced.
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DCharlton

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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2016, 12:42:02 PM »
Along with confessing our complicity in institutional and systemic racism, I think the ELCA should confess our complicity in allying ourselves with those who engage in violent anti-police rhetoric and misinformation.  I'm speaking specifically of the Black Lives Matter movement.  On at least two occasions, members of the Black Lives Matter movement have been heard chanting violent anti-police messages.  This is the second time police officers have been assassinated by a person claiming to be motivated in part by the BLM movement. 

Like Black Lives Matter, we have failed to apologize for promoting false narratives such as the "hands up don't shoot" meme.  In spite of the fact that DOJ itself disproved the "hand up don't shoot" narrative" we still refer to Ferguson as an example of an police racism and violence. 

We should be able to oppose racism and call for greater accountability for law enforcement without allying ourselves with groups that engage in misinformation and incitement to violence. 
David Charlton  

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MEKoch

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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2016, 02:15:21 PM »
Amen. David C.  Amen.   Thankfully there are those in the poor black communities who recognize that all police officers are their friends and protectors.  And the moment there is no police, all Hell breaks loose.

Mike Koch

Eileen Smith

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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2016, 02:46:10 PM »
Clearly this issue is very divisive.  I have seen first-hand how justice does not work in the Black community; on the other hand, I work with a number of police officers and recognize that they have a difficult job and perhaps too often decisions must be made in a split-second which can be deliberated over for decades. 

Perhaps we could, just once, look back on this very sad week in prayer as one in Christ and hold off on the negative ELCA/LCMS rhetoric.

DCharlton

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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2016, 02:58:00 PM »
Clearly this issue is very divisive.  I have seen first-hand how justice does not work in the Black community; on the other hand, I work with a number of police officers and recognize that they have a difficult job and perhaps too often decisions must be made in a split-second which can be deliberated over for decades. 

Perhaps we could, just once, look back on this very sad week in prayer as one in Christ and hold off on the negative ELCA/LCMS rhetoric.

I'm sorry Eileen, I speak as a member of the ELCA not from outside.  What caught my eye was the link that included the name of the particular group in question.  One the other link, I saw resources that continue to teach the false "hands up don't shoot" narrative from Ferguson. 

I think we should be more careful about who we align ourselves with.  We should oppose racism and unjust law enforcement practices.  We should also distance ourselves from groups that engage in misinformation and incitement to violence. 
David Charlton  

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J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2016, 03:31:14 PM »
What caught my eye was the link that included the name of the particular group in question.  One the other link, I saw resources that continue to teach the false "hands up don't shoot" narrative from Ferguson. 

I think we should be more careful about who we align ourselves with.  We should oppose racism and unjust law enforcement practices.  We should also distance ourselves from groups that engage in misinformation and incitement to violence.

Yesterday morning my heart was numb with a grief for the brothers in blue that I had not felt for nearly 15 years.

That grief only intensified when I saw that entirely one-sided headline, placed in the position of prominence of # 1 in the slideshow on the ELCA home page.   I tried to feel anger but the grief was too overpowering.

Naively, I hoped that in view of the events in Dallas that headline slide would be removed, or at least modified to include the overnight tragedy.

When such change did not occur, I confess, I felt as the condemned Pharisee of Luke 18, thanking God that I departed five years ago.

God have mercy on me, the sinner.
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Eileen Smith

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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2016, 05:35:38 PM »
Clearly this issue is very divisive.  I have seen first-hand how justice does not work in the Black community; on the other hand, I work with a number of police officers and recognize that they have a difficult job and perhaps too often decisions must be made in a split-second which can be deliberated over for decades. 

Perhaps we could, just once, look back on this very sad week in prayer as one in Christ and hold off on the negative ELCA/LCMS rhetoric.

I'm sorry Eileen, I speak as a member of the ELCA not from outside.  What caught my eye was the link that included the name of the particular group in question.  One the other link, I saw resources that continue to teach the false "hands up don't shoot" narrative from Ferguson. 

I think we should be more careful about who we align ourselves with.  We should oppose racism and unjust law enforcement practices.  We should also distance ourselves from groups that engage in misinformation and incitement to violence.

On that I would agree with you.  I was surprised to see the extension to the link, but I felt the liturgy worth viewing. I am concerned about the organization, "Black Lives Matter" - especially the anti-police message it sends to young people.  Today I heard President Obama's press conference on the occasion of his last NATO meeting.  He said that race relations weren't as bad as some think.  I'm one of those who feel that race relations have deteriorated significantly and I don't think he's been a healing presence.   

Matt Staneck

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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2016, 06:01:26 PM »
Here is what I posted on our church's Facebook page:

As people called by God in Christ Jesus through baptism, we are a people called to prayer. This Sunday, at 10AM, we will hold a short liturgy of the Word and prayer for the recent tragedies in Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights, and Dallas. The church is a place where all are equal before the throne of God, and that includes civilians and police officers. We will gather in prayer for the families of those who grieve, even as we remember the names of the people who died.

In such tense times we remember that we are a people called to love and mercy, indeed as our gospel text for this coming Sunday teaches us (Luke 10:25-37). This is not a time for taking sides based on tribal markings, whatever they may be. This is a time for us, the baptized people of God in Christ Jesus, to gather before the throne of mercy, irrespective of tribe, and to hold onto each other in his love.

Join us this Sunday at 10AM and stay for our regular liturgy of the Word and Sacrament at 10:30AM. Please share this with anyone who you think may be interested in attending.


M. Staneck
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St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church
Queens, NY

Fletch

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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2016, 06:14:43 PM »
Clearly this issue is very divisive.  I have seen first-hand how justice does not work in the Black community; on the other hand, I work with a number of police officers and recognize that they have a difficult job and perhaps too often decisions must be made in a split-second which can be deliberated over for decades. 

Perhaps we could, just once, look back on this very sad week in prayer as one in Christ and hold off on the negative ELCA/LCMS rhetoric.

I'm sorry Eileen, I speak as a member of the ELCA not from outside.  What caught my eye was the link that included the name of the particular group in question.  One the other link, I saw resources that continue to teach the false "hands up don't shoot" narrative from Ferguson. 

I think we should be more careful about who we align ourselves with.  We should oppose racism and unjust law enforcement practices.  We should also distance ourselves from groups that engage in misinformation and incitement to violence.

On that I would agree with you.  I was surprised to see the extension to the link, but I felt the liturgy worth viewing. I am concerned about the organization, "Black Lives Matter" - especially the anti-police message it sends to young people.  Today I heard President Obama's press conference on the occasion of his last NATO meeting.  He said that race relations weren't as bad as some think.  I'm one of those who feel that race relations have deteriorated significantly and I don't think he's been a healing presence.

Eileen, I agree wholeheartedly with you that race relations have deteriorated significantly and our current president and congress has done little to heal.  I really think race relations have deteriorated greatly since I was in high school in the early 1960s when blacks and whites just got along, at least in my school and my area.  It seems the more we talk about making things better, the worse it becomes.  It seems similar to advertising; the more something is advertised, the more likely there is a reason it has to be advertised, it just isn't a good product so everyone tries to make believe it is the greatest thing going.  I think the problems began when we aggressively tried to remove God from much we do.  I was blessed to have my formative years when we still read the Bible in school, said the pledge of allegiance, spoke highly of our founding documents, had not rewritten history to covertly reflect the USA as evil, and prayed aloud, together.   While we have made great strides in technology and most of our citizens have a far better standard of living than their predecessors, we increasingly complain and want more; unfortunately, what we want more of is ultimately unsatisfying and harmful.  We have thrown the authority of Scripture out the window and only revere the parts we want.  No way do we want to hear about things that say some actions are sinful.  We have indeed tried to become our own gods, back to Genesis 3 one more time, rinse, recycle, repeat.  Thanks be to God that Jesus came to save us, those who have been chosen to hear and believe His promises, from ourselves and from the one who is prowling to lead us astray, .  My prayer is that we would help spread the Gospel and help others to know that vengance belongs to God and respect those he has placed in the kingdom of the left to reduce chaos and restore order, so we can worship the one true God in peace.  I must remember, I am baptized!  I am a child of God. 

... Fletch


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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2016, 07:12:35 PM »
Clearly this issue is very divisive.  I have seen first-hand how justice does not work in the Black community; on the other hand, I work with a number of police officers and recognize that they have a difficult job and perhaps too often decisions must be made in a split-second which can be deliberated over for decades. 

Perhaps we could, just once, look back on this very sad week in prayer as one in Christ and hold off on the negative ELCA/LCMS rhetoric.

I'm sorry Eileen, I speak as a member of the ELCA not from outside.  What caught my eye was the link that included the name of the particular group in question.  One the other link, I saw resources that continue to teach the false "hands up don't shoot" narrative from Ferguson. 

I think we should be more careful about who we align ourselves with.  We should oppose racism and unjust law enforcement practices.  We should also distance ourselves from groups that engage in misinformation and incitement to violence.

On that I would agree with you.  I was surprised to see the extension to the link, but I felt the liturgy worth viewing. I am concerned about the organization, "Black Lives Matter" - especially the anti-police message it sends to young people.  Today I heard President Obama's press conference on the occasion of his last NATO meeting.  He said that race relations weren't as bad as some think.  I'm one of those who feel that race relations have deteriorated significantly and I don't think he's been a healing presence.

Thank you, Eileen.  I apologize again if I derailed the thread. 
David Charlton  

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readselerttoo

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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2016, 07:36:41 PM »
Clearly this issue is very divisive.  I have seen first-hand how justice does not work in the Black community; on the other hand, I work with a number of police officers and recognize that they have a difficult job and perhaps too often decisions must be made in a split-second which can be deliberated over for decades. 

Perhaps we could, just once, look back on this very sad week in prayer as one in Christ and hold off on the negative ELCA/LCMS rhetoric.

I'm sorry Eileen, I speak as a member of the ELCA not from outside.  What caught my eye was the link that included the name of the particular group in question.  One the other link, I saw resources that continue to teach the false "hands up don't shoot" narrative from Ferguson. 

I think we should be more careful about who we align ourselves with.  We should oppose racism and unjust law enforcement practices.  We should also distance ourselves from groups that engage in misinformation and incitement to violence.

I agree.  I think the ELCA is too quick to ally itself to causes which have not run their full course.  Yes, racism continues to be a problem for us but it is too easy to judge without the full course and the full picture.

DCharlton

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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2016, 09:37:58 PM »
Reflecting on this in light of tomorrow's Gospel, it seems we have shown how easy it is to create Samaritans, people to fear and loath.  Both political parties have sought to exploit distrust.  Some would have us believe that all undocumented immigrants are violent criminals and that all Syrian refugees are terrorists.  Others would have us believe that all white Americans hate black people and all police are racists who want to murder blacks.  Does the Church have anything to say to this situation, or do simply choose sides in the culture wars? 
David Charlton  

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