Having just learned that the president, members of his family, and members of his staff have tested positive for the coronavirus, we, the elected Officers of the United Church of Christ, offer this statement and accompanying prayer.
We call on all settings of the church to lift our president and his family and staff in your time of prayer and worship, laying aside partisan impulses and political passions, as we continue to pray for individuals and communities globally that continue to fight the coronavirus.
We are in need of healing. We are held in the loving arms of an indiscriminate loving presence we know as God.
We continue to emphasize that we all take the warnings of doctors and scientists very seriously. This disease is dangerous and remains active. Remain cautious. Wear your masks. Maintain appropriate social distancing. We are entering cold and flu season, and our vigilance, our patience, and our ongoing rigor to practice safe protocols can and will save lives.
We invite you to join us in prayer:
O God of all peoples, healer of the sick and restorer of wholeness, we call upon your abiding spirit to rest upon an entire planet of your beloved children. We are languishing in grief and sickness in the presence of a virus we cannot yet control or understand.
Millions around the world are suffering and dying. Fear prevails. Confusion abounds. Grief mounts. And no response has yet been found that can cover the grief, stem the tide of a spreading virus, or hasten the healing of bodies stricken with its symptoms.
We pray for front line health workers who risk their lives giving medical care to patients suffering from COVID.
We pray for families watching loved ones suffering or grieving a death that came early.
We pray for a world that is overwhelmed fighting the virus, overwhelmed with the loss of jobs and income, and overwhelmed by a hidden foe that strikes without warning.
We pray for the poor and the oppressed who often lack the necessary resources and healthcare coverage to resist or fight back against the disease.
We pray for communities of color who in America are yet again bearing a disproportionate load of this burden.
We pray for chaplains and clergy who are working hard to adapt to conditions under which pastoral care and compassionate comfort must come in challenging ways.
We pray for our president, his family, and his staff, burdened already with leading through a time of fierce division and during a season of collective grief. May they all soon know the comfort of your healing touch.
For all of this and more we pray in hopes of receiving your loving, your comfort, your healing, your restorative hand. May the power of love made manifest in the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit, in the teachings of the one we call the Christ, and in the humble service of his disciples here on Earth usher in a season of hope, a time of healing, and a day of relief from all that threatens.
This, O God, is our humble prayer and we offer it in your most Holy Name.
The National Officers of the United Church of Christ
John C. Dorhauer, General Minister and President
Traci Blackmon, Associate General Minister
Karen Georgia Thompson, Associate General Minister