The world continues to be rocked by racist hate crimes, some carried out in churches and synagogues, of all places. Even as we mourn the loss of innocent lives, the lasting legacy of for many will remain the powerful image of forgiveness.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was right. Only love can do that.
Bound within by my own mind,
And a day not left behind.
Circling round the memory stays,
Echoing through all my days.
The worshipers welcomed the stranger.
Then hatred wearing a racist robe
tore through the house of God.
THEME The path to destruction and the path to new life.
By Dietrich Kirk
The Rev. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, a Presbyterian pastor and hymn writer, has published a new hymn lamenting gun violence and remembering “the beloved children of God who died in the school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas”.
In November 2018 following a massacre in Thousand Oaks, California, Bishops United Against Gun Violence — an activist group of bishops in the Episcopal Church — offered a “Litany in the Wake of a Mass Shooting” to commemorate the dead, to comfort their loved ones, and to honor survivors and first responders.
Pastor Ruth Marston-Bihl wrote this litany following the school shooting on February 14, 2018, as a reflection on the candles on the altar at the evening worship service at First UMC Olympia.
The Plural Guild creates unique liturgies and music specific to the times and contexts in which we live. Several focus on lament.
Worship Resources for the Crisis in the Holy Land
A set of worship resources is now available on ELCA.org. Several prayers are provided that could be used during the prayers of intercession or at other times, in public worship or for devotional use at home or in other settings. Additions may be made to these resources in the coming days and weeks.
Digital download: A liturgy in seven sections, for use in a small group with those who are burdened by bullying. There is also a reflection on bullying in the church.
This liturgy is intended for use in a small group with those who experience this form of spiritual malaise: targets of bullying, advisers, those with responsibility for addressing bullying, onlookers, and, if possible, as a guideline for perpetrators. It is designed so that people can pray together for one person, or more, in turn.
Learn more and find a sample here.
Pastor Tamika Jancewicz, Pastor Emilie Casey, and Anne Krentz Organ shaped this liturgy entitled Sighs Too Deep for Words (Romans 8:26). This resource gives special attention to women’s experiences in scripture and in everyday life, and it invites embodied prayer. This is a liturgy rooted in scriptural accounts of the breaths, sighs, groans, and shouts of God, humanity, and all creation. The writers have aimed to craft language and music that is not only theologically rigorous and aesthetically beautiful, but also clear, adaptable, and singable. May we pray and sing without knowing exactly what to say, for it is when “we do not know how to pray as we ought” that the “Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.”
Parity helps congregations and faith organizations, clergy, seminarians, denominations and seminaries become more LGBTQ+ sensitive and celebratory.
Find liturgical elements, full liturgies, tips for diversity inclusion, family and loved ones support, and more.
This series includes 3 original liturgies, title graphics, planning guide with hymn suggestions, promotional blurbs, and sermon starters.
Pairs well with God on the Move: Faith and Democracy, which includes 3 original liturgies, title graphics, planning guide with hymn suggestions, promotional blurbs, and sermon starters.
The Promise & the Practice offers a collection of worship materials by UU religious professionals of color.
enfleshed develops general-purpose, anti-racism and COVID-19 related liturgical elements.
Find Benedictions from around the country here.
The Plural Guild creates unique liturgies and music specific to the times and contexts in which we live.
As we are embraced by God's reconciling love in worship, we are equipped to carry that reconciling love into our relationships beyond the worship space. Worship equips us for the work of conciliation, but the liturgy itself needs to be decolonized if it is to truly honor Christian commitments to God and neighbor. This book explores the reformed liturgy in its pattern of Gathering, Word, Table, and Sending, searching it both for colonial vestiges, and spaces of new possibility. Unsettling Worship invites the reader into a conversation about reformed worship in a setting of ongoing colonization. Worship should both unsettle us, and equip us for the essential work of making things right with Indigenous neighbors.
Tracy Kugler, a member of St. Paul's UCC in St. Paul, MN
~includes a strong list of resources for congregational or personal learning
A Guide to Indigenous Land Acknowledgment was compiled in conversation with a group of Minnesota Indigenous leaders.
The California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center offers this Toolkit.
Krista Tippet with Rev. Phil Jackson
How to create worship experiences that embrace our bodies…all kinds of bodies…as God does.
How can worship become a catalyst for justice, racial equity, inclusion and peacemaking in our world today?
What does it really mean to be LGBTQIA inclusive? Versus just “welcoming…”
How practicing lament can transform our worship… and maybe even our world.
An open conversation on racism in the church and in worship and what we can do about it.
Making sure the songs we sing actually reflect what we believe. Plus, writing songs!
Opening our worship to mystery, beauty and belonging through inclusive language.