July 8, 2016
Bishop Laura Ahrens
The Episcopal Church in Connecticut
“Morning Prayer this morning felt more like Mourning Prayer. Still reeling from the violence from Tuesday in Louisiana and Wednesday in Minnesota, in each of which a black man was killed by police during an encounter, the news rolled in from Dallas about the police officers ambushed during a peaceful protest Thursday evening, with five officers killed and seven more injured. And beyond these numbers, countless lives were impacted directly and indirectly by these acts. The impact hurts us all.
Our prayers this morning are indeed prayers of mourning for those who have died. Our prayers are for all those who have died this week and for those who have been injured, their families and loved ones. We pray for those who offered themselves as a peaceful witness in the great city of Dallas last night and I encourage us to hold onto their witness for peace. I pray for peace and for the courage to continue to witness to the powerful voice of love that peace reveals.
The Mayor of Dallas this morning noted that there would be an interfaith prayer service today at 12:00. I invite all of us in ECCT to join in those prayers, if not at noon, then at another point in our prayers today. The prayers in the Book of Common Prayer hold me this morning in my mourning. Prayers for the Human Family (p. 815), For our Country (p. 820) and For Cities (p. 825), in addition to the Prayers for Peace (p, 815), help me find some words for bridge building and honest dialogue.
Our prayers are lived through our actions as well as our words. We have work to do. Participating in God’s Mission calls us to build bridges of love, justice, and peace. Grounded in God’s love for us and our love for God, we are called to reach out to those around us who are hurting and those in need, extending God’s love with ears that seek to listen, words that seek to comfort, touch that seek to heal and hearts that seeks to love. We are called to work of peace and justice, building bridges that connect us where we are still divided by “isms” of prejudice, oppression and difference. Fear cannot build these bridges, but we can — when we are not trapped by our fears, but rather freed by God to walk in love. May we be about this work today and every day.”
The Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens