On Earth Peace is developing worship and study resources for a 2023 Lenten series, “Open Our Eyes, Lord.” The series is designed for predominantly white congregations who want to explore the intersection of faith and race. Lead author Rosanna McFadden of Creekside Church of the Brethren (Elkhart, IN) shares, “Through the lectionary texts and confessional season of Lent, we hope to see Jesus through the eyes of the other, and the other through the eyes of Jesus.” John 9:1-41 will be a primary story for the resources.
The series will explore how opening our eyes to Jesus leads us to ask questions about race and racism in our lives and communities. Weekly worship resources will be provided with permission for congregations to use and adapt. Resources will include a primary scripture text, a sermon prompt, a responsive call to worship, a unison opening prayer, a prayer of confession or lament, and suggestions for music based on scripture readings or related themes. On Earth Peace is creating digital/video presentations with study questions for guided discussion to use during Sunday School, or other gatherings to continue discussion from the worship services. The resources will also include book suggestions for small group study during Lent. Marie Benner-Rhoades from On Earth Peace reflects, “Lent is an exceptional season in the liturgical calendar that focuses on confession and lament, ending with the passion and compassion of Christ.” Join On Earth Peace and others from across the denomination to deepen our discipleship by reflecting on race and racism.
On Thursday, February 9, 1-3pm Eastern, Rosanna and OEP staff will facilitate a Lenten Series Preview. Participants will worship together using the resources, review the complete resource, and build community with others who will be working with this theme during Lent 2023. We hope to form a community of leaders who can support each other while working on these challenging issues in their congregations. Worship resources and the preview session will be provided free of charge. There will be a donation requested for the supplementary educational resources.WHENFebruary 09, 2023 at 1:00pm
Mark Cripe donated 2023-01-11 10:28:23 -0500
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People hold candles as they gather for a vigil in the aftermath of a deadly shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation, in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Dear On Earth Peace community and friends,
This week has been filled with tragedy.
- Maurice Stallard and Vickie Jones, two African-American elders in their community outside of Louisville, KY lost their lives at the hands of a gunman who first sought to enter a Black church, and had a history of domestic violence and racist behavior.
- Current and former US political leaders, as well as members of the press, had pipe bombs intercepted that were mailed by an attempted assassin who espoused a hateful and bigoted ideology.
- Members of a synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA were gunned down for nothing more than being Jewish while they spent their Saturday morning together participating in their weekly gathering for worship.
We mourn, like so many others, the loss of life for each victim of these senseless acts of violence. We also mourn the isolation, despair, and hopelessness that white supremacy, a common thread across the events of this week, feeds from as it poisons the groundwater from which we all drink.
It would be easy, in this moment, to lose hope.
However, as co-laborers for justice and peace, our faith and our work teaches us that we have a role to play in times like this. As we join the mourners and the efforts to take care of them, we also join the organizers who fight day in and day out for a better world in which bias, bigotry, and racism have no place. We join the ministers of all faiths who share the message of peace and justice in our hurting world. We join the families, neighbors, friends, and strangers who all ask, “Where do we go from here and how I can play my part?”
Take the time to process your feelings around these events and the ways in which they affect you and the communities you care so deeply about. We then encourage you to join others in reflection, dialogue, and action as you see fit to begin addressing the root causes of the violence and pain in our society.
Know that as you work for a better world in your own neighborhood, organization, or place of worship, we are right there with you.
On Earth Peace will continue our commitment to training and equipping individuals, congregations, and communities as we all work together to build beloved communities of justice and peace. Thank you for joining us in this work.
On Earth Peace
Who we are? On Earth Peace helps people work together for justice and peace.We envision a world in Beloved Community free from violence, oppression, and war. We invite you to join us by finding a program or ministry that speaks to the unique needs of your organization, congregation, or community.
If this statement speaks to you, we invite you to join our community by sharing your contact information below.
Mark Cripe donated 2020-08-26 16:41:53 -0400