When members of EUAR gather together for book study, discussion, or worship, we always begin and end with our Gathering and Closing Prayers. Because racism works to divide and isolate us from each other and because we can only end racism in community, our version of these prayers uses “we” and “us” rather than “I” and “me.” Through our prayers we acknowledge that although we did not create systems of oppression, we can either choose to perpetuate them or together, accept responsibility for transforming them.
Gathering Prayer (Inspired by the Serenity Prayer)
God, grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change.
Lord, we know we cannot change what has happened in the past and the devastating impact of racism.
Grant us the courage to change the things we can.
In the spirit of reconciliation and with gratitude for the gift of diversity, we seek to engage and empower people of faith to create a community of justice and peace through our common prayers and acts of compassion.
We do, Lord, with your help, have the power to change ourselves and our response to the present situation. Guide us and give us the courage to do what we must do.
And lastly, Lord, give us the wisdom to know the difference, so that with prophetic courage we may act as advocates for the dignity and well-being of all persons, recognizing that behind every human face is the face of God.
In Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN.
Closing Prayer (Inspired by the Prayer of St. Francis)
Lord, make us instruments of your peace;
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, union;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
All this we pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, AMEN.