Note: I’m at the Forma Conference in Charleston, SC, and just heard two excellent keynotes by Dear White Christians and Raising White Kids author Jennifer Harvey. These notes provide some context for the prayer below.
O God of life,
giver of good courage,
please be with our family
as we struggle to break white silence.
We know the work will not be easy.
We have internalized
its deceptions and abuses.
We have been paralyzed by
its guilt and shame.
Yet we already possess the tools we need
for agency and action:
You have given us inquiring minds
to unpack and explore tense moments.
You have given us broken hearts
to remind us that the stakes are high.
When we hesitate, show us the way.
When we fail, call us to repent and recommit.
When we succeed, receive our thanksgiving
for those who have led the way.
And help us remember that there is so far to go.
Above all, help us to know and to trust
that our children are observant and resilient—
if they do not learn from our
loving and explicit engagement,
they will learn instead from the tacit and the toxic.
Come O Christ. Lend us your aid.
For you promise that the truth will set us free.
O God, you have bound us together in a common life. Help us, in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth, to confront one another without hatred or bitterness, and to work together with mutual forbearance and respect; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP, Public Domain)
You don’t have this yet?! You need this. (Not an Amazon link, incidentally.)
Really excited about the latter: Harvey’s anecdotes and research coverage in yesterday’s talk were fantastic.