United Church of Christ

Confession American Indian Ministry Sunday - September 27

Prayers from GS 30 Worship

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Prayer of Healing and Confession

 (For use on American Indian Ministries Sunday, September 27, 2020)

Context: The 29th General Synod of the United Church of Christ approved a Resolution of Witness calling for the UCC to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery, which authorized the genocide of native people and the theft of native lands (http://uccfiles.com/pdf/gs29minutes.pdf).  In that Resolution we recognize the complicity of the Churches, including the UCC, in the perpetration of these injustices. In the spirit of repentance which that Resolution calls for, we offer this moment of confession and prayerful reconciliation.  In the hope of healing and deepening of relationship with native peoples, we welcomed into our midst  a local leader in the Native American Community, the Rev. Bruce Kafer (Oglala Lakota), who offered a brief reflection and healing song.  Following his prayer, the congregation joined in this prayer of confession.

Call to Confession

In this moment, and mindful of the resolution of the 29th General Synod to repudiate the “Doctrine of Discovery” fostered by Church bodies which perpetrates tragic consequences on Native peoples throughout the world, we pray a prayer of Confession and commitment to Justice:    

Gathered here on this Holy Ground,
The Psalmist reminds us that
     The earth is the Creator’s,
     and everything in it –
     this world and all who live in it. 

We confess that many who have come before us    
-misrepresented Holy Scripture in order to dispossess indigenous inhabitants
of their homes and sovereignty.                                 
-laimed divine authority to take these lands;
-used treaties as tools of imperial exploitation.
They forgot, but we must remember:
     The earth is the Creator’s,
     and everything in it –
     this world and all who live in it. 

We confess that the “Doctrine of Discovery” harms all it touches:                          
the generations of those it has oppressed;
the spirits of those who use it to oppress.
Hope of Healing calls us to remember:
     The earth is the Creator’s,
     and everything in it –
     this world and all who live in it.
 

We confess that as present-day residents                                                                
     of our precious Mother Earth,
     we have not been faithful stewards of her care
     nor of the circle of life and all our relations, human and non-human.
All Creation calls us to remember:
     The earth is the Creator’s,
     and everything in it –
     this world and all who live in it. 

(Moment of Silence)

One:    Let us pray together:                                                                                     
ALL:    On this day we come, seeking divine forgiveness
           and holding ourselves accountable
           to live in faithfulness and reconciliation
           for the sake of the earth and seven generations to

Assurance of Grace

We believe in the Holy One, Maker of us all,
who is faithful
to forgive us, cleanse us and
free us to walk in wholeness.
Friends, believe and accept the good news of Christ’s peace:
Justice, healing, joy!

Passing the Peace

Sunday Service of Worship at General Synod 30 was written by The Rev. Ann Jefferson, Pastor, and Director of Community Life and Pastoral Care, Pacific School of Religion and member of City of Refuge UCC in Oakland, CA.

Copyright 2015 United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH  44115-1100.  Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education.  All publishing rights reserved.

 

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