Prayer: Journeys, homecoming, manaakitanga, dismantling racism

Prayers of the People: Let us pray for our community and our world

Bewildering spirit of paradox and metaphor
we give thanks that our journeys and wilderness experiences, our searches for meaning and flight from old doctrines have led us to this place: a place where all are welcome, a community of faith rather than dogma; to a starting point for new quests or a haven from our lost years; and most of all. to a place in our lives where we don’t need all the answers. yet can ask the awkward questions.

Enlivening Spirit of deep, still waters and crashing waves
May ours be the hands outstretched to greet those who journey from another place; who leave what’s familiar, to start a new life—whether refugees from distant lands or neighbours from city and suburbs; whether they have fled from warfare and danger, or from church or family where they no longer feel safe.

Perplexing Spirit of challenge and compassion
We hold in our hearts especially the Muslim community in Christchurch, and around the country; all our migrants and refugees for whom Aotearoa New Zealand was a place of safety and welcome—All whose families and dreams were shattered, lives lost and broken by one hate-filled man who represents a voice our privilege protects us from hearing —and the systemic racism at the heart of “God’s own country”.
May we have the courage to speak up, speak out, give nothing to racism: “no laughs, no likes, no attention, no power”.
We give thanks for strong, compassionate and dynamic leadership, especially as we are challenged to critique our own bias, entitlement and complacency.

Wairua Tapu, Spirit of Earth and sea and sky
May we encourage our leaders in every decision, every policy discussion, every change to legislation, to actively engage with and honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi, to use it as a framework for understanding, for undoing the wrongs of colonialism and restoring mana tangata whenua.

May the people of the land and the people of the Treaty together show the world we are a place of mutual respect and manaakitanga.
As the rabbi and healer Jesus taught us, may we treat others as we would be treated.
May we never fall back into complacency.
Let us never again wander into the wilderness of “not all kiwis” or “not all pakeha” or “not all allies”.
May we never again be the older brother who’s so busy being good that we forget to plant the sunflower seeds of forgiveness and compassion.

Transforming, transitioning Spirit, cloud by day and fire by night
May our rivers be ones besides which all peoples can sing their songs, even in a strange land.
These are the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts.
These are our prayers.


References:

As we lift our packs – Shirley Erena Murray

Christchurch mosque shootings: We must examine who ‘we’ are much more critically

Give nothing to racism campaign

Exodus 13:21

Psalm 137: 1 – 4

Give nothing to racism