Friday, November 24, 2006

Prayer in Response to Act of Hatred

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Delaware County ( has provided a very warm welcome to my parish, St. Mary of Grace Independent Catholic Church ( -- we have been meeting in their church since May. As a welcoming congregation, they fly a rainbow flag in front of the church as a sign of their embrace of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. Unfortunately, their flag was stolen, vandalized, and returned. In response, the Unitarian Universalist church had a series of candlelight vigils culminating in a beautiful service held last Tuesday night. Their minister gave a beautiful reflection: I offered a prayer, and Fr. Joseph offered a scripture reading. Below is the prayer I offered:

Loving God, We adore you, the Source of all life and the giver of life in all of its diversity. You developed the lavish beauty of creation over the ages through the prism of evolution. Creator of pregnant seahorse fathers, the duck-billed platypus, and gay penguins, You placed the rainbow across the sky as a sign of the covenant between humanity and the Divine, reflecting the Light of the Divine in many colors.

We come to you this evening broken and saddened. We are angry at the defilement of sacred symbol and the attack on principles we hold dear. We are saddened by the demonstration of hatred in our midst. We are frustrated that our efforts have not borne more fruit.

We ask you to heal us and our entire community. Let us not hate those who have perpetrated this act of malice, but inspire us to pray for their healing, too. Let us not be discouraged from our work to bring forward the Beloved Community, but let us be strengthened for even greater service.

We pray for special blessings on all of your lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender servants. Hasten the day when all who act in your name will fully welcome them into their embrace. Heal the hardened hearts of officials who refuse to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. Strengthen, comfort, and uphold all young people struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity, and be with us as we create a society in which all are welcomed as they were created to be. Lead us to live in love and renew us in our desire and work to eliminate racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, war, and poverty from our midst.

And as we are being healed of our pain this night, let us not forget to be grateful for the many blessings with which you have enriched our lives. Strengthen us for service to You and to creation.

And let us say, Amen.


Chris T. said...

Beautiful, beautiful prayer, Tim. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

The love and concern of the various churches that came together last week in responce to thie act of cowardly hatred was inspiring.

Several of the area UU Churches, Imago Dei, and our own St. Mary of Grace were there several times. I wonder, though, why even more area churches, especially the mainstream Christian Churches did not have greater attendence.

Love and diversity in Grace will always be stronger that hate and fear.

+Tim, thank you for your leadership in this regard and this heartfelt and inspirational prayer. It is a beautiful reflection to use for Advent as we welcome the light of Christ into our lives to dispel the darkness of fear.

Fr. Joseph Augustine Menna, AIHM
St. Mary of Grace Independent Catholic Church

The young fogey said...

I'm with the magisterium 100 per cent on all these issues including on un-Christian acts like theft, vandalism and terrorism. Sorry it happened.

Tim Cravens said...

One word of explanation -- the two comments that I deleted were not negative responses to my post but were commercial spammers -- "Make a zillion dollars every week stuffing envelopes!" I don't intend to censor comments, but stupid ads don't count! Thanks to my friends Chris, Joseph, and John for your comments.

Anonymous said...

Hello Tim,

Email me and tell me what is your mailing address.

It sounds like you have found a home in Philadelphia.

The best to you always,
Lynne in Peekskill

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