Prayer for Independence Day: An invitation from the Listen/Learn Team of the Antiracism Task Force
A message from the Listen/Learn Team of the Antiracism Task Force:
Dear clergy and wardens,
Many congregations will observe Independence Day in worship on Sunday, July 5th. As you prepare, please consider using the Collect for the Nation rather than the Collect for Independence Day.
We ask that you listen to the words of the Collect for Independence Day:
Lord God Almighty, in whose Name the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us, and lit the torch of freedom for nations then unborn: Grant that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain our liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
We would like to draw your attention to the phrase “the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us. For many ancestors of the “us,” July 4th did not bring liberty.
Please consider the Collect for the Nation (p. 258 BCP) as an alternative to the Collect for Independence Day:
Lord God Almighty, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace:Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Anglican Church of Canada’s Canada Day collect would also be appropriate
Almighty God, whose wisdom and whose love are over all, accept the prayers we offer for our nation. Give integrity to its citizens and wisdom to those in authority, that harmony and justice may be secured in obedience to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
This is an opportunity to draw attention to systemic racism within our church which is hurtful to many. We are grateful to Byron Rushing, Vice President of the House of Deputies, for this suggestion.
The Listen/Learn Team of the Antiracism Task Force
Charles Abraham, St. James’ Clinton
Karen Anderson, St. James’ Clinton
Lisa Busby, The River Parishes
Megan Castellan, St. John’s Ithaca
Kathy Crowther, Trinity Lowville
Barb Dexter, Resurrection Oswego
Audrey Drake, Trinity Lowville
Becky Drebert, St. Peter’s Bainbridge
Elizabeth Ewing, Christ Church Binghamton
Stephanie Nevels, St. John’s Ithaca
Ernestine Patterson, Grace Syracuse
Trula Hollywood, St. Paul’s Owego
Alexei Waters, St. Thomas, Slatervile Springs
Steve White, Emmanuel, Norwich & St. Andrew’s, New Berlin & St. Matthew’s, South New Berlin
Anne Wichelns, Resurrection Oswego & St. Andrew’s Evans Mills
Pete Williams, Grace & Holy Spirit Cortland