Prayers for Those Harmed and Advocacy for Peace
By Rev. Catie Scudera, Published on May 25, 2017
Yet again this week, we are faced with terrible international tragedies. In Manchester, England, and Jakarta, Indonesia, terrorists set off bombs in populated, public places in an attempt to instill fear locally and worldwide. In Jakarta, three were killed and a dozen more injured by bombs at a bus station, and in Manchester, twenty-two people were killed and over a hundred injured. Like some journalists, I can only wonder if the Manchester concert was targeted because of pop star Ariana Grande’s primary fan base: young people, mostly girls and LGBTQ children and teens.
We pray for all those affected — those killed, those injured, their family members and friends, and their wider communities — holding them in our hearts. If you feel so moved, I encourage you to learn more about the Manchester and Jakarta victims, and offer a prayer of love and peace for each of them. You may also want to extend prayers of compassion and transformation to those who are seduced by ideologies of violence, which impact and influence people of all backgrounds and identity groups. If you are a relative or mentor of a young person, I encourage you to reach out to the children and teens in your life to ask how they are feeling about these incidents; offer comfort and reassurance that we will fiercely protect them from harm; and, help them find additional support if they need it, including connecting them with First Parish staff members for pastoral care. If you yourself are need of pastoral support, please reach out to me or to a member of our Pastoral Care team.
Through spiritual practices of reflection and empathy, we strive to renew our covenant to live our beliefs through action and care for our world. At First Parish, we will continue to promote the inherent worth and dignity of all people; offer Our Whole Lives and live into our Welcoming Congregations commitment; and, pursue justice, peace, and wholeness for all beings through our sacred activism, striving to stitch together a broken and hurting world. Each of us is crucial to the creation of global beloved community, a heaven on earth for all its residents. May we advocate for peace and justice in all that we do.