UCC officers pray for healing following racist killings at Buffalo grocery store

The national officers of the United Church of Christ have released a “prayer for healing and hope” after the murder of 10 people — an act of white supremacist terrorism — at a grocery store in Buffalo, N.Y. A white teenager livestreamed himself on social media during the Saturday, May 14, shooting, which killed 10 and wounded 3. Media reports said the shooter drove 200 miles to the historically Black neighborhood.

God of eternal hope and healing, the United States awakens again to the news of lives lost in an act of terrorism – this time in the city of Buffalo.

We heal wounds like these lightly, quickly moving from one tragedy to another with no way of knowing fully how to grieve, how to express our outrage, or how to fully understand what happened and what we can do to prevent it from ever happening again.

We feel powerless.

We feel hopeless.

We feel grief upon grief compounding, until we just stop feeling anything at all as we desensitize ourselves to it.

Abide with us as we face fully into the grief and the fear, turning not our faces away from the horror of it all. Transform our outrage and our grief into action. Let the power of your love embolden us and empower us to face fully the ongoing impact of race hate in America. Help us to end the cycles of violence and enact legislation that reduces the threat of gun violence and mass shootings.

Help us to face fully into the possessive investment in whiteness in the United States and atone for the sins of race hate and racial animus. Stir us to repent for the many ways we are complicit in seeding the lies of white dominance that fuel racial hatred and fear. Give us the courage to seed truth and shape a world that understands, embraces, and maintains your vision of shalom where all are known and loved for who they are and who you have called them to be.

Only then will the violence end.

Only then will we know the healing power of your enduring love.

Until then, help us all attend to the grief of those whose loved ones in Buffalo were tragically gunned down in this new act of race hate. Their grief is our grief. Their anguish is our anguish. Their rage is our rage. May attentiveness to their grieving hearts also be the work of our hands as we come together to heal and to build a world where hate has no home. Amen.


The National Officers of the United Church of Christ

The Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer
General Minister and President
The Rev. Traci Blackmon
The Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson
Associate General Ministers

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Categories: United Church of Christ News

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