Post by Kathy Smith, Associate for Administration

O Lord, hear our prayer. Have mercy on us and show us your saving grace. We pray for the victims and families of recent tragic events, and for our brothers and sisters who suffer from violence and injustice on a daily basis.  We pray for our police, community leaders, and political leaders; may they be wise and compassionate in the midst of dangerous and often overwhelming circumstances. We pray for those who believe violence is the only option; may they know and encounter your peace and love. Lord, give us wisdom to seek and understand our calling as followers of Jesus Christ. Open our hearts and minds, and show us what we are to do now. Amen

We pray and grieve for the victims and their families of recent tragic events in St. Paul, Baton Rouge, and Dallas. Yet we remain confident knowing that God is already present in this moment. Throughout history, from the time of Moses and Abraham to today, God listens and responds to our prayers, his grace and wisdom leads and guides us. And through scripture we learn that faith without works is dead. “Was not Abraham justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?  You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was brought to completion by the works.”  James 2: 21 – 22.

In the coming months, let us commit to prayer and healing. Prayer is the beginning step on the road to transformation. Prayers, worship services, and resources for your congregation can be found at the ELCA website, Let us move forward with solutions, conversation, understanding, empathy and courage are needed to change souls and lives, knowing that concrete action will transform. 

The ELCA remains active in justice and anti-racism work and many ELCA synods, including the Southeastern Iowa Synod, have active anti-racism ministries. On October 6, you are invited to join with members of the Southeastern Iowa Synod Anti-Racism Task Force at the Synod Center for Ministry, Iowa City, from 10:30 – 2:00. Bring a sack lunch. We’ll preview one of Bishop Eaton’s messages on race and reconciliation, and then discuss ways in which we can begin the conversation in our own congregation.  All with the purpose of taking meaningful action.    

Lord, we have seen the aftermath of single acts of extreme violence and the consequences of generations of injustice. As people of faith let us initiate extreme acts of kindness that ripple through our communities, and let us commit to being bearers of peace and reconciliation.     

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