October 19, 2011 -- Conference staff have composed and circulated this prayer to authorized ministers of the United Church of Christ in Connecticut:
Holy One, as we speak with one voice, we call out to you on behalf of many: For those who have been deprived of a just place in our nation’s economy; for those who take offense that some have received the nation’s help and failed to return even gratitude; and for those who have been vilified by association.
As we call to you in prayer, O God, we do so somewhat reluctant to look too deeply into our own lives and heart. We confess that, to a great extent, we thrive while others suffer. Our economic choices in this nation have wreaked havoc beyond our intent or imaginings. When we cast our eyes across the wide span of the globe, we know that far too many of your people struggle to survive and meet the most basic of needs.
And God, we confess that we avoid meaningful and messy encounters rather than risk the awkwardness of initiating a long overdue conversation, or a gesture of reconciliation. We do not raise our voices for economic justice on the one hand, and we all too frequently demonize those with wealth on the other. What wonder is it, God, that our society, our communities, are so fractured, so broken, so impoverished in spirit?
The soul of this great nation, Holy One, is at risk. We have raised the false idols of power and wealth, and echoed their siren call as we followed them to destruction. So together we affirm again your Golden Rule: we will treat our neighbors as ourselves. We commit ourselves to the work of creating justice in our economy and compassion in our politics. We further strive to uphold the value and dignity for all people of this nation and beyond.
In our commitment, may we come to know genuine humility, turning from arrogance and ignorance, from avarice and envy, from exclusion and self-absorption. May we turn toward compassion and cooperation, toward generosity and community, toward justice and steadfast love.
Hear our confession, forgive our sins, strengthen our commitment, and energize our efforts in the name of Jesus. Amen.