Epiphany Week 4 (Year C): Litany for Parts of a Whole

I find it interesting that the Lectionary always seems to speak so keenly to the current moment. The past few days I’ve contemplated the state of things, and Dr. King’s legacy, and how the Church (capital C) is doing, and how the country is doing. And I attended an MLK memorial/celebration march and service at a local sibling church, which was inspiring in some ways, but sobering in others. We have so far to go with dismantling white supremacy in this country, and within the American Church; and that is not a new or disputable fact.

What I’m learning from listening to and reading BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) activists is that we white people need to listen humbly, educate ourselves and our communities, and support the work. And a great way to support the work is by financially contributing to organizations that uplift BIPOC communities and meet their needs. I’m doing this as I can, and I encourage my white siblings to as well. Here are a few I’m particularly inspired by*:

Equal Justice Initiative
Million Hoodies
A Voice for the Unheard
Black Women’s Health Initiative
Partnership with Native Americans

I’ve written this week’s litany with the Lectionary selections in mind, which remind us of our unchangeable status as parts of a whole, as siblings, and as co-laborers. What hurts one sector of our Beloved Community, hurts us all. What uplifts, uplifts us all. Christ’s stated mission in Luke 4 is our mission, too. And…

We are all part of each other.
Our connectedness is unbreakable.
Any separation is only imagined.

If you’re looking for other litanies surrounding these topics, please check out
Litany for Justice and Equality
Litany for MLK Day
Litany for Addressing Racism
Litany for Embracing Race

*Even small amounts matter. But I know, not everyone can contribute financially. Do what you can, educate yourself via the multitude of free resources in local libraries and the internet, be curious, be humble. And may God bless your efforts.

Big News from Fran

Hello readers and pray-ers new and old!

I interrupt this litany of litanies to bring you some important updates about my work and the goings on at franpratt.com in 2018.

First: I want to celebrate. This site is 2 years old now, as of Christmas 2017. I've written hundreds of litanies and had the joy of spending hundreds of hours doing the things I like best: writing, thinking, and meditating. This effort has been a gift and a discipline; and this platform has been an outlet and a ministry. Many thanks to all of my readers and subscribers, and especially to those who have sent me notes of encouragement along the way. That support has been so meaningful to me. Your "likes" and "shares" matter, too. Thank you.

Next: I'm working on completing my first book of litanies, entitled _Call and Response: Litanies For Congregational Prayer_. My esteemed husband/designer is working on the artwork for it in the coming weeks, and I am wrapping up the last details. I'm a methodical worker, and I do this in my spare time, so it's not quick work. But it's worth it to me to think deeply about it. I plan to release it as a downloadable e-book, as well as on Kindle Direct Publishing. If there seems to be enough demand, we may do a limited print run (let me know if you'd want one!).

Finally: I'm launching a Patreon page soon. If you or your community has received benefit from my work, please consider becoming a patron. If you have no idea what Patreon is, check it out. As my vision for my work and the constraints of my actual work life have evolved, I'm being called to dig deeper and think more vocationally and long-term about this writing gig. The world is changing, my life is changing, and the litanies are changing me. My absolute least favorite thing to do is self-promote, but there is more work to be done and I will need support to continue it.

More to come, my friends. Many thanks and blessings.

Litany for Justice and Equality (and Martin Luther King)

*This litany was originally written for MLK day, but also has implications for the 2016 elections. Some of the language was influenced by Brian Zahnd's excellent book _Beauty Will Save The World_, and also the prayer echoes some of the language in the worship song "Form Us" by Casey Corum and Anabeth Morgan.

Oh God, we are reminded today of Your infinite Love for all people:
All races
All colors
All political affiliations
All religious persuasions
All social classes
All economic statuses
All nations.

We confess our tendency to think that we are the best, our perspective the most righteous.
Forgive us our arrogance, Oh God.
We confess our tendency to judge others, and to condemn those we find unworthy.
Forgive us our impertinence, Oh God.

We see others with criticism.
You see us all with love-filled eyes.
We see only in part.
You see the world with infinite wisdom.
We see the external.
You see the heart.

Mold us to Your way.
Form us to Your heart.
Shape us with love.
Make us new with grace.

Our way is not of violence and empire, but in the power and beauty of the cross.
Our faith is not in politics, but in the transforming love of Christ.

May we work diligently to help meet the needs of those You love, both physical and spiritual.
May our eyes be opened to the value and worth of each person we meet.
May Your kingdom come, Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.