LITANY OF 350TH CONFESSION

In celebrating 350 years of a covenantal relationship,
We remember our ancestors in faith who came before us, Those who had vision and bravery
To travel from their homelands,
Fleeing persecution and injustice in England,
Risking it all because God called them someplace new,

We remember the puritans, the pilgrims, The farmers, the preachers,
The caretakers, the child-rearers, those With hope and fear, those who lost family members along the way, We celebrate you, our ancestors in faith,
Who were brave and bold.
We give you great thanks for building a foundation that would last.

Pause to pray
Dear God, we are so grateful for those with brave vision, who risked everything for the building of a new world, those filled with hopes, dreams, and desperation. We pray for those ancestors in faith who started it all and we honor them. As a country built on immigrants, we pray for their spirit to guide and inspire us, as people this very day seek to cross boarders into this country. May the spirit of our ancestors inspire us to create safety and welcome from people immigrating to this country today. Spirit of our ancestors in faith, we honor you, we thank you, we send you love and gratitude for this firm foundation we stand on.

We also remember that as our ancestors in faith traveled to a new land, while new to them, this land was already home to communities and families.

We remember the indigenous people who lived here, People from the Algonquin, Pequot & Wangunk communities, Who cared for this land before our ancestors arrived.

We remember that before this land
was called Middletown,
it was called Mattabesett, meaning “bend in the river.”

We remember that not peace,
but conflict, forcible relocation and violence occurred with this meeting.

We acknowledge the physical and structural genocides that destroyed and continue to marginalize
Native communities
And our own church’s complicit role in these efforts.

Pause to pray
Holy one, we seek to heal the wounds inflicted by our ancestors of faith for the conflict, displacement, and violence done to the indigenous people already here in Mattabesett. Spirit of the land, spirit of the indigenous communities, we pray to you and honor you. We seek to heal the sins of our ancestors and this nation. Guide us, we pray, in right paths, that honor all persons, that resist evil and oppression. Save us from perpetuating such harm today and from passing it on to future generations. Help us heal ourselves and our ancestors through our justice-seeking actions today.

We remember our ancestors in faith
who sought to build an economy that would sustain them,

Who wished well for their families,
Yet destroyed other families in turn
As this country trafficked and enslaved People from Africa and the Caribbean Creating a system of violence and oppression That still exists to this day.

We remember those human beings Who our ancestors in faith enslaved:

As children of God
Who were kidnapped from their homelands, Dehumanized and forced to build this country, Treated beneath their divine worth.

Pause to pray

Spirits of those who were enslaved and wronged by our ancestors in faith, we acknowledge your hurt and we honor you. We know our faith ancestors fled persecution, yet persecuted others in turn. Those who sought salvation manipulated scripture to marginalize and even kill people of color, failing to see that those they oppressed were also children of God. We seek to heal the sins of our ancestors and this nation. Guide us, we pray, in right paths, that honor all persons, that resist evil and oppression. Save us from perpetuating such harm today and from passing it on to future generations. Help us heal ourselves and our ancestors through our justice-seeking actions today.

 

PRAYER FOR HEALING

Spirit of the living God, We, the present congregation, know that we the living, Have the power to become healers.
Help us see that even though we are not our ancestors, We have nevertheless inherited their legacy. We seek to transform the wounds of the past
As we walk along God’s path of justice and love.
We humble ourselves before your call, oh God,
To hold ourselves accountable
To the highest standards of justice.
Holy one, we ask for your guidance as we seek to transform The imprint of violence against people of color,
The original sins of this nation and church.
Please help us to follow in the footsteps of Jesus,
The path of loving one another,
So we may transform the violence buried within each of us And in our world.
Help us ensure that all beings
May connect with their own and each other’s divine essence And touch true liberation.
For healing and transformation
in the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.