A Call to Worship for the Tragedy in Charleston

Pacific Northwest Conference Superintendent Greg Yee leads a part of the litany.

Pacific Northwest Conference Superintendent Greg Yee leads a part of the litany.

KANSAS CITY, MO (June 26, 2015) – In what has been one of the most emotional moments of the 130th Annual Meeting of The Evangelical Covenant Church, delegates participated in a litany expressing empathy for and solidarity with the victims of the shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The litany and prayer led by several denominational leaders were part of President Gary Walter’s report to delegates on Friday. Walter shared that he wept while watch the Sunday worship service held at Emanuel just days after the tragedy and he choked up again when he read the first part of the litany.

The litany was written by Portland faith leaders Leroy Barber and Rick McKinley and has been used by hundreds of churches as a show of solidarity.

 

A Call To Worship for the Tragedy In Charleston

Leader:

We stand before you today, oh Lord

Hearts broken, eyes weeping, heads spinning

Our brothers and sisters have died

They gathered and prayed and then were no more

The prayer soaked walls of the church are spattered with blood

The enemy at the table turned on them in violence

While they were turning to you in prayer

 

All:

We stand with our sisters 

We stand with our brothers 

We stand with their families 

We stand to bear their burden in Jesus’ name

 

Leader:

We cry out to you, oh Lord

Our hearts breaking, eyes weeping, heads spinning

The violence in our streets has come into your house

The hatred in our cities has crept into your sanctuary

The brokenness in our lives has broken into your temple

The dividing wall of hostility has crushed our brothers and sisters

We cry out to you, May your Kingdom come, may it be on earth as it is in heaven

 

All:

We cry out for our sisters 

We cry out for our brothers

We cry out for their families 

We cry out for peace in Jesus’ name

 

Leader:

We pray to you today, oh Lord

Our hearts breaking, eyes weeping, souls stirring

We pray for our enemies, we pray for those who persecute us

We pray to the God of all Comfort to comfort our brothers and sisters in their mourning

We pray that you would bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes

We pray that you would give them the oil of joy instead of mourning

We pray that you would give them a garment of praise in place of a spirit of despair

 

All:

We pray for our sisters 

We pray for our brothers

We pray for their families 

We pray for their comfort in Jesus’ name

 

Leader:

We declare together, oh Lord

With hearts breaking, eyes weeping and souls stirring

We will continue to stand and cry and weep with our brothers and sisters

We will continue to make a place of peace for even the enemies at our table

We will continue to open our doors and our hearts to those who enter them

We will continue to seek to forgive as we have been forgiven

We will continue to love in Jesus’ name because you taught us that love conquers all

 

All:

We declare our love for you, our Sisters 

We declare our love for you, our Brothers 

We declare our love for you, their families 

We declare our love as one body, one Lord, one faith, one baptism 

We declare they do not grieve alone today 

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