Resources you can use for your prayer vigil:
Use LYNC’s Vision Statement as a litany…
WE ARE United Methodists committed to the embodiment of God's love and justice within and through the people and mission of The United Methodist Church. The core of our faith is found in Jesus’ response to the question “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” – we are to “love God with all our heart, soul (being) and mind” and to “love neighbor as self”(Matthew 22:36-40).
These hold ancient law, the prophets and the Gospel message together with our contemporary Book of Discipline and Book of Resolutions. To this end, OUR MISSION is to assure The United Methodist Church is fully open to the presence, love and grace of God offered to all the world.
Just as we are all interconnected and interdependent in the complexity of our relationships with God, humanity and all of creation,
we recognize, acknowledge and celebrate the ways all of the following concerns and hopes for our church are connected, interdependent and intersectional:
WE BELIEVE in a church that practices the Wesleyan way of holiness.
Therefore, WE CALL OUR CHURCH to remember John Wesley’s call to personal and social holiness and to embrace connectionalism in ways that lead to transformation of the Church and world.
WE BELIEVE in a church that is inclusive and open to all people; and the Holy Spirit demands the full inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer people in the life and ministry of The United Methodist Church.
Many: Therefore, WE CALL OUR CHURCH to remove all discriminatory language in the Book of Discipline that is doing harm to faithful lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer persons.
WE BELIEVE in a church that passionately works for racial justice.
Therefore, WE CALL OUR CHURCH to work for racial justice and resist exploitive systems that teach racial, ethnic, and/or tribal superiority and inferiority.
WE BELIEVE in a church that yearns to be global and connectional in nature
Therefore, WE CALL OUR CHURCH to repent from our history of colonialism and racism, and adopt a denominational structure reflecting this repentance, while celebrating the giftedness that indigenous peoples share in the life of church and society, when welcomed as equal partners.
WE BELIEVE in a church that pursues peacemaking over war and stewardship over ecological degradation.
Therefore, WE CALL OUR CHURCH to divest from activities that support war, occupation, and the destruction of God’s creation. One:
WE BELIEVE in a church that opens its buildings and systems to people with disabilities, welcomes those with physical, mental, and psychological challenges, and works to incorporate every person as they are, with their gifts and challenges.
Therefore, WE CALL OUR CHURCH to develop and implement a plan for accessibility at all levels of the Church, including a unified approach from the Boards of Ordained Ministry when it comes to questioning candidates with disabilities, along with a comprehensive plan to ensure equal access and fairness when dealing with a long-term disability, or emerging physical or mental challenge.
WE BELIEVE in a church that embraces the fullness of life and dignity in death.
Therefore, WE CALL OUR CHURCH to support policies leading to comprehensive, age-appropriate, medically-accurate and culturally- competent sexuality and parenting education; universal access to contraception and compassionate abortion care; healthy and safe environments for children; expanded access to adoption and alternative methods of pregnancy; and systems of justice that support protections for care of the elderly and that abolish the taking of life as a punitive measure for crimes.
WE BELIEVE in a church that ensures the peaceful pursuit of self- determination and religious expression.
Many: Therefore, WE CALL OUR CHURCH to reject attempts at merging religious beliefs with nationalism or subjugating one belief system or cultural group to another, but instead, with respect and integrity, to share with persons of other faiths the truth that has come to us through Jesus Christ, as we listen for the truths we can learn from others.
WE BELIEVE in a church that strives for economic justice.
Therefore, WE CALL OUR CHURCH to advocate economic policies that reflect love of neighbor by ensuring such basic needs as food, clothing, shelter, quality education, health care, a clean environment and a living wage in a workplace open to collective bargaining and free from violence and coercion.
WE BELIEVE in a church that welcomes and seeks justice for the stranger.
Therefore, WE CALL OUR CHURCH to stand against injustices of poverty, war, and violence which often create refugee and migrant communities and to advocate for just and compassionate immigration policies in those places where refugees and immigrants have sought to make their homes.
Because of these, OUR BELIEFS,
WE CALL ON OURSELVES AND OUR CHURCH to advocate for faithful, systemic and intersectional solutions to our human struggles, so that we might fully welcome the stranger and thereby love God, others and self, as Jesus asks of us; living lives that are shaped according to the good news of Jesus Christ and as faithful disciples and stewards of all of our relationships with God and God’s creation.
(You can publically sign-on in support of this statement at: http://www.lyncoalition.org/vision-for-umc/)
Scriptures / Prayers / Thoughts:
The Lord’s Prayer in French, contributed by Patricia Farris, traveling to the briefing in Cote d’Ivoire:
The following are Scriptures, Thoughts and Prayers from “Forty Days of Hope” a devotional edited and written by Heather Kramer, former student intern (from Wesley Theological Seminary) and office administrator with MFSA (Methodist Federation for Social Action), Days 1, 3, 4, 10, 12, 14, 15, 20, 25, 30, 34, 36, 37 & 40:
Day 1: “May all arrive. May none be left behind. May all be one.” ~ Quiche Indian Saying
Gathering God, bring us and bind us together for this journey.
Day 3: “Grant us a common faith that [we] shall know bread and peace—that [we] shall know justice and righteousness, freedom and security, an equal opportunity and an equal chance to do [our] best not only in our own lands, but throughout the world. And in that faith let us march toward the clean world our hands can make.” ~ Stephen Vincent Benet
Creating God, breathe justice and peace into our own creative work.
Day 4: “The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” ~ John 17:22-23
God of relationships, make us a community bound together in love.
Day 10: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” ~ John 13:35
Loving God, give us the strength to show your love to one another.
Day 12: “What life have you if you have not life together? There is no life that is not in community, and no community not lived in praise of God.” ~ T.S. Eliot
God of community, help us to live together in you and your peace.
Day 14: “So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let uswork for the good of all.” ~ Galatians 6:9-10a
Unfailing God, give us the strength to persevere in our efforts of peace and love.
Day 15: “It must be said that genuine compassion is not like pity or a feeling that others are somehow lower than you. Rather with genuine compassion you view others as more important than yourself. Genuine compassion is based on the recognition that others have the right to happiness just like yourself.”
~ His Holiness, Dalai Lama, The Dalai Lama’s Book of Wisdom
Servant God, make us also servants in your image.
Day 20: “Yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion looks out on this world. Yours the feet with which he is to go about doing good and yours the hands with which he is to bless us now.” ~ Teresa of Avila
Embodied God, make us the means of your grace in the world.
Day 25: “A person is a person through other persons. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another. What you do affects the whole world.” ~ Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Interconnecting God, strengthen our bonds and renew our spirit of empathy.
Day 30: “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that”
~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love
God of light, help us to overcome hatred with your love.
Day 34: “The central vision of world history in the Bible is that all of creation is one, every creature in community with every other, living in harmony and security and joy toward the joy and well-being of every other creature.” ~ Walter Brueggemann
God of harmony, blend our melodies into a single song of compassion.
Day 36: “Hope is the decision to which God always invites people.” ~ Denise Priestly
God of opportunity, show us the possibilities for hope that you have surrounded us with.
Day 37: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Convicting God, remind us constantly of our role as your hands and feet in the world.
Day 40: “The best of all is, God is with us!” ~ John Wesley
Ever-present God, thank you for your steadfast presence on our journey.