For each day in Lent, beginning on Ash Wednesday, February 14th, the Episcopal Church ofNew Hampshire will offer a short reading/reflection on little known historic figure from New Hampshire’s African American community who are part of our history.
Their stories will help to educate us all about what we have never been taught. They will help us to see the impact and contributions of people of color who have shaped our lives together as a community.
We hope these reflections will help us to use Lent as a time to broaden our knowledge, to say our prayers in a way that helps us to repent (change our mind) and appreciate the contributions of those named. For, if we are to make steps in becoming “A Beloved Community” we cannot remain ignorant of our history, both our contributions to oppression and to the brave souls who sacrificed so much.
As is always the case: “the truth shall set us free.”
The Reconciliation Commission also encourages parish study groups to read together Living into God’s Dream: Dismantling Racism in American, edited by Catherine Meeks, to learn more abut the origins and meaning of “the Beloved Community” and many ways the Spirit draws us closer to its realization.
Please join us in prayer:
Becoming Beloved Community Prayer
Creator of All,
When you send your Holy Spirit to us in baptism,
You invite us into deep communion with you and with one another.
In this moment, as we work together to Become Beloved Community,
inspire us to tell the Truth about the Church and Race,
that we may persevere in resisting evil, and come to you,
and to one another, to repent and be forgiven.
Strengthen us to engage with our words and actions,
And our careful listening, the Dream of a Beloved Community,
Where God's Good News is proclaimed and fully lived.
Flood us with your love, that we learn to love ourselves,
And each other; and become reconcilers who seek the
face of Jesus in our neighbors, and ourselves.
Teach us to practice your way of love,
that we will strive for justice and peace in our Churches,
our neighborhoods, our institutions and our systems.
Bless us, that as followers of Jesus Christ,
We may work together to realize your dream for us:
Your children united in thought, word and deed, in You.
We ask these things in the name of Jesus our Redeemer,
and the Holy Spirit who moves within us to sanctify us. Amen.
~The Rev. Teressa Gocha, Chair of the Diversity Committee
May we fulfill our baptismal vow of promoting justice, peace and love by entering this Holy Season of Lent with an openness to listen, to wait, to pray and to open our eyes and ears.
The Reconciliation Commission