As we watch the unfolding violence in Gaza and Israel, there is not much we can do from here but pray. But prayer IS essential. Pray for peace. Pray that all people let go of the need for vengeance, focusing instead on justice and compassion. I commend this prayer from Contemporary Way of the Cross: A Liturgical Journey along the Palestinian via Dolorosa:
Loving God of all the earth, we pray for those who perpetrate injustices in the Holy Land, regardless of their motives; we pray that you will change their hearts and fill them with the spirit of mercy. Teach us all the pathways of peace and forgiveness. Spirit of comfort whose glory covers the face of our earth, comfort the oppressed, give shelter to those who have lost their homes, and let your peace dwell in every heart. With thankful hearts we pray in the Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Another way we can act is to support Episcopal Relief and Development, which has people on the ground ready to help, and to learn more about the situation, especially about the Anglican presence. There is an article below about the Anglican hospital that was bombed a few days ago and ways to support their important work.
There is no good way to transition from news of war and the urgency of peace to news of pledge campaigns and fundraisers, so let me just say that I am grateful to all of you who make All Saints the fabulous place that it is. If you have already pledged, thank you! If you have not yet pledged, please do (see the newsletter). The “pitches” you wrote last Sunday capture who we are: All Saints walks the talk. Our neighbors know they can get a hot meal and groceries here. Our worship is joyful and grounded. You belong here no matter when you show up or what your background is. We care about our neighbors, next door and far away. And, perhaps my favorite: we leaven it all with “moderate irreverence”!
Finally, I’ll be at Spirits of Ravenswood TONIGHT (Friday, October 20) raising money for our food pantry and having lots of fun! I hope you’ll join me.