Prayer of Confession for My Denomination

I was reading through some of my old worship liturgies this morning and came across this prayer of confession. I wrote it with this passage from Deuteronomy 30 in mind:

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.

As I read this I realized that part of my utter, deep sadness for my denomination right now (MCUSA) is that I see us repeatedly choosing death over life. Death for ourselves, because we are alienating–if not outright rejecting–individuals, families, and a large swath of an entire generation. Death for others, both spiritually–as LGBTQ people and allies wander away from an unwelcoming church–and sometimes physically–when LGBTQ youth believe that their deepest longings for human relationship are sinful and shameful, some of them commit suicide.

And I see us repeatedly choosing curses over blessings. We are denying our church the blessings God wants to give us through the gifts of LGBTQ people. And we are denying LGBTQ people the blessings God wants to bestow on them through the church.

I am sad to see us clinging to law over love, death over life, curses over blessings. So today, this is my prayer for my denomination; a prayer for repentance, forgiveness, and renewal.

 

Gracious and Holy God,
For those times we have chosen death over life for ourselves,
Forgive us. [Silence]
For those times we have chosen death over life for others,
Forgive us. [Silence]
For those times we have chosen not to receive your blessings,
Forgive us. [Silence]
For those times we have prevented others from receiving your blessings,
Forgive us. [Silence]
For each time we have made the easy choice of law over the hard choice of love,
Forgive us. [Silence]
O God of mercy,
Hear our prayers. [Silence]

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Categories: GLBT Concerns, Mennonites, Prayer of Confession | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Prayer of Confession for My Denomination

  1. I love this piece. I was struck by the phrase, “the hard choice of love.” Is genuine love hard or difficult? Is this connected to “tough love” which my family is using towards me, which I don’t experience as love at all. I guess I don’t experience love from my denomination either, sigh!

    • Theda, you raise a good question. I definitely do not mean “tough love” when I say “hard choice of love.” I think that sometimes love calls us beyond the rules (or “law”) and it can be a difficult decision to follow love in those instances. You have definitely made the hard choice of love in your service to the church. I am very grateful for you, my friend. And I love you. But that’s not hard love; you are a very easy person to love. :-)

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