P: Jesus Christ, bread of life:
You fed thousands with a few loaves and fishes.
C: You created abundance out of scarcity; the people shared.
A: Help us to trust in your abundance and share what you have given.
P: While we seek food that spoils, and leaves us empty.
C: You fill us with what never perishes; in you we have eternal life.
A: Help us to seek souls full of love and be satisfied.
P: We seek that which will never satisfy: power, wealth, status
C: We set a table of separation, oppression and violence; we dine on death.
A: You prepare a banquet of love, relationship and peace; you feed us life.
P: You are the bread of life.
C: You feed us with your very flesh and blood.
A: Abide in us, as we abide in you, that we may be full and know everlasting life.
Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God,
In whom there are no borders,
Who recognizes no nationalities
Welcoming all sojourners into the promised land
Trusting in God’s welcome to all sinners and saints,
let us confess our sin against God and one another.
Eternal parent of all,
You created us as your children. As your children we are all related.
All parents are our parents, all siblings are our siblings, all children are our children. We have denied our relationship to one another. We have built artificial boundaries out of fear, out of anger, out of desires for control and power. We have shut our ears as brown children cry in cages and looked away as black children lay dead in the streets. We call for justice but forget about mercy. We have divided what you declare whole. We have devalued what you declare worthy. We have defiled what you claim as holy. We have dehumanized one another, the creation you called “very good.”
Forgive us for our fear, our desire for power, our thirst for justice without mercy. Forgive us for seeing ourselves as separate and our siblings as other.
Help us to see in ourselves and one another what you see in us. Save us from the temptation to separate ourselves from our siblings, from building walls that keep us apart. Empower us to tear down the boundaries that separate us from one another and, inevitably, from you. Strengthen us that we might lift up our voices when your children cry out in pain. May we be for others the refuge we find in you.
Renew our hearts, O God, through the power of your son, Jesus Christ.
Hear the good news!
Jesus came to call us to repentance.
Jesus died that we might be forgiven.
Jesus was resurrected that we might know eternal life.
In his name, your sins are forgiven.
Turn towards God and sin no more.
We recognize that for some congregations pieces of this confession may go too far and say too much. We wish that wasn't the case but, as it is, we get it. Edit as you see fit for your context.
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In the wake of the increasingly horrific treatment of immigrants, those seeking refuge, naturalized citizens, and children by the current administration - and also their use of scripture to justify this treatment - we have created a litany to center these issues in scripture and encourage leaders and congregants to lift up their voices with God's call to love our neighbor. All our neighbors.
Feel free to tweak and adjust as needed for your setting. Instructions for crediting our site are below the litany.
by Revs. Elizabeth Rawlings and Jennifer Chrien
Gracious and loving God,
In the beginning, you created humanity and declared us very good
We were made in Africa, came out of Egypt.
Our beginnings, all of our beginnings, are rooted in dark skin.
We are all siblings. We are all related.
We are all your children.
We are all siblings, we are all related, we are all your children.
Violence entered creation through Cain and Abel.
Born of jealousy, rooted in fear of scarcity,
Brother turned against brother
The soil soaked with blood, Cain asked, “Am I my brother’s keeper?
We are all siblings, we are all related, we are our brothers keeper.
When your people cried out in slavery,
You heard them. You did not ignore their suffering.
You raised up leaders who would speak truth to power
And lead your people into freedom.
Let us hear your voice; grant us the courage to answer your call.
Guide us towards justice and freedom for all people.
We are all siblings, we are all related, we all deserve to be free.
Through the prophets you told us the worship you want is for us
to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke;
Yet we continue to serve our own interest,
To oppress our workers, to crush our siblings by the neck because we are afraid.
Because they don’t look like us, act like us, talk like us.
Yet, they are us. And we are them.
We are all siblings, we are all related, we are not free unless all are free
In great love you sent to us Jesus, your Son,
Born in poverty, living under the rule of a foreign empire,
Brown-skinned, dark-haired, middle-Eastern.
They called him Yeshua, your Son,
Who welcomed the unwelcome, accepted the unacceptable--
The foreigners, the radicals, the illiterate, the poor,
The agents of empire and the ones who sought to overthrow it,
The men and women who were deemed unclean because of their maladies.
We are all siblings, we are all related, we are all disciples.
The faith of Christ spread from region to region, culture to culture.
You delight in the many voices, many languages, raised to you.
You teach us that in Christ, “There is no Jew or Greek, there is no slave or free, there is no male and female.”
In Christ, we are all one.
Not in spite of our differences, but in them.
Black, brown, and white; female, non-binary, and male; citizen and immigrant,
In Christ we are all one.
We are all siblings, we are all related, we are all one in Christ.
Each week, we confess our sin to you and to one another.
We know that we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves.
We are captive to the sin of white supremacy,
Which values some lives more than others,
Which believes some skin tones are more perfect than others,
Which commits violence against those who are different.
We confess our complicity in this sin.
We humbly repent.
We ask for the strength to face our sin, to dismantle it, and to be made anew
We trust in your compassion and rely on your mercy
Praying that you will give us your wisdom and guide us in your way of peace,
That you will renew us as you renew all of creation
In accordance with your will.
We ask this, we pray this, as your children: all siblings, all related, all beloved children of God.
by Rev. Elizabeth Rawlings
This was written for worship on the Sunday before Martin Luther King, Jr. day but can certainly be used any time!
Most merciful God,
We confess that we are mired in sin and cannot get free on our own. We have judged others based on skin color, sex, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, ability, financial and social status. We have preferred the ease and simplicity of placing others into boxes to the complexity of getting to know one another as siblings. We have contributed to and often benefited from systems that maintain the power of a privileged few. We have remained silent in the face of racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism and other forms of prejudice. Through both our action and inaction, war, poverty and environmental degradation continue on massive scales. We have ignored your prophets and turned from your command to put you first and neighbor second. We have permitted the ends for which we live to become confused with the means by which we live. Forgive our ignorance. Forgive our weakness. Forgive our sin. May your love overwhelm us, your peace disturb us and your spirit move us so that we cannot help but do your will at all times and in all places, always glorifying your name.