March 2020

Lament

“The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, ‘Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.”
Luke 22:61-62 (NRSV)

We have no way to count the tears of LGBTQ people whose humanity has been denied by our denomination. The tears of LGBTQ persons whose belonging has been conditioned on their remaining in the closet and hiding who God created them to be. Nor can we report all the hours spent comforting parents lamenting that their LGBTQ children and youth no longer feel wanted or safe in the church of their baptism. There are tears still to shed for stories yet untold.

In the Lenten text, the disciple Peter weeps after he denied Jesus three times. Peter mourns that he allowed his fear of Herod’s anger to overwhelm his hope in Jesus’ love.

Peter faced a choice that all United Methodist clergy face today: shall we obey our fear of authority or the way of Jesus Christ?

Many of our clergy have come forward on the side of love, in the way of Jesus. Many more are finding their way by attuning ears and hearts to the laments of all God’s beloved children in pain. In this month of lament, may God open our eyes and ears of so that justice and mercy for all people will be done.

March Acts of Lament Ideas

Worship Resources

Three Prayers of Lament

These three prayers of lament may be used in the same service or separately.

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Prayer of Lament

This prayer is shared by permission of M Barclay, Co-Founder and Executive Director of enfleshed, a nonprofit creating and facilitating resources of spiritual nourishment for collective liberation. Visit enfleshed.com for additional resources.

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Collection of hymns at queersacredmusic.com

These hymns may be used as appropriate in worship; some of the rounds could be sung at protests. Congregations are welcome to modify lyrics to enhance inclusion as desired.

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Liturgical Greetings

These liturgical greetings are to be used at the beginning of a worship service and can be led by a liturgist or a clergyperson. Each greeting contexts the service with inclusive words of hospitality.

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Jan 5 , 2020 Resist Harm Worship Service

Three similar worship services will be happening in Oklahoma the evening of January 5 as a way to bring our community together and make a statement that the harm inflicted by the Traditional Plan is not acceptable. Through this worship service we will lament, resist, act and hold tightly to hope.

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Affirmation of Faith : Loving your enemies (MLK)

This prayer was shaped from words and ideas that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. shared in his sermon "Loving Your Enemies" and elsewhere. It was edited together for use during a meeting of our Resist Harm leadership team, and can be used in small groups or congregations of all sizes.

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Prayer of Confession

This responsive prayer of confession was designed for the Opening Worship of the Cal-Pac Annual Conference in 2019. It is adapted from the prayer of confession found in the General Services in the United Methodist Hymnal.

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Prayer Flags (for GC2020)

Foundry UMC in Washington, DC is collecting prayer flags, and will carry them to GC2020 so the prayers can adorn the Conference session. They invite you to participate, making your prayer flag creation a part of the worship life of your community.

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Repent and Resist - Ash Wednesday

Use all of these resources or just one for a time of silent prayer or corporate worship. A service of Ashes is also included.

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Psalms of Lament - A Guide

Use as a personal instrument, as a tool for worship planning, or as a handout for leading a group in using and writing a Psalm

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An Act of Resistance for Clergy

This could be used by any congregation who has multiple clergy or it could be done by lay people using colorful bands of cloth.

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Lament Ideas

Use as a tool as you seek a way to process lament collectively or individually

Ideas for the month of Lament for worship, prayer and formation
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Black Lives Matter resources

Litany for Black Lives Matter and violence against POC

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Other Posts

Brian's Story

This video interview with Brian's mother, Debbie Buzzard, was originally produced by Church of the Resurrection for Leadership Institute 2019.
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March 1-7

Listening God, with each new day comes fresh news of terror. We lament each new way we find to be inhumane to each other. We lament the numbness many of us feel as we are increasingly desensitized to horror. We sorrow as those harmed by the sin of exclusion and hatred but also as those […]
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March 8-14

God, we find ourselves in a time of great sorrow. Give us the gift of tears that moves us beyond sadness into compassion. Inspire and empower us not only to cry about others but also to weep with them. Teach us to lament, so that we do more than regret our circumstances; we resolve to […]
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March 15-21

Gracious and merciful God, you summon us when we are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and then you promise rest. But there are days when we are waiting for healing and redemption, when the Spirit groans alongside us, and we don’t know how to pray. We can’t find the words, and yet we hold on […]
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March 22-28

Merciful God, do not turn away from me, for I am in pain. Hateful and deadly words and actions are being hurled against your LGBTQ children, while too many people stand silently by. I hold fast to your promise that you are never far from those who are suffering. Draw near -- and transform me! […]
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Events

#ResistHarm Prayer Event - Ash Wednesday 2020 - Repent and Resist

On Ash Wednesday, we are called to repent of the wrongs we have done, and to seek God's mercy and call to love all. This year Ash Wednesday is on 2/26/2020, which is the one-year anniversary of the passage of the traditional plan. We take this opportunity to repent of harm we have caused, intended and unintended, as individuals and as a Church. United Methodists throughout the Great Plains will gather at sites in each district between 8am and 5pm to offer prayer, song and contemplation as we continue to #ResistHarm. A new person will lead prayers each hour. Saint Paul Benson is hosting the Missouri River District location. Please enter on the Southwest side of the building; we will be located in the Roth Chapel.

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External Resources

Theological Declaration from the Western Jurisdiction

Affirmed at a Western Jurisdiction Summit in November 2020, this theological declaration uses rich biblical and liturgical language, and can be adapted for use in local settings. Read the declaration here.
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Songs for the Holy Other

The Hymn Society has edited and shares this free volume of hymns affirming the LGBTQIA2S+ community. Visit their site to download.
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Liturgy from enfleshed

With a commitment to spiritual and theological depth and the centering of marginalized experiences, conversations, and communities, enfleshed seeks to provide liturgy, devotionals, curriculum, preaching, training, and pastoral care that addresses honestly, tenderly, and directly, the beauty and pain of living enfleshed lives.
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