Dear people of the Diocese of Maryland,
As your Standing Committee and I stated in November, 2020 was a very contentious year and our elections have been called. Some are very pleased with the result and some are very distressed. Emotions remain high, and the potential for more unrest, polarization and violence has sadly come true today in our nation’s Capitol. And it is heart-wrenching. A woman has died and other lives have been threatened. We must pray for our nation and all its people. Pray for our congressional leaders, pray for the safety of our law enforcement personnel, pray for the protesters. Everyone needs our prayers because we are a community of love. Our presiding bishop, the Most Rev. Michael Curry, has called us to prayer on this feast of the Epiphany.
Nonviolent protest has a long and valued place in our nation and in our Christian ethics. If you feel called to protest in some way, we support your doing so peacefully and with dignity. This election season and its aftermath have been marked by heightened fear, anger, mistrust and division. We, however, are called to be followers of Jesus, characterized by the “fruit of the Spirit” in St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”(5:22-23) These qualities are not present in violent protest.
Let us model for the world how a community of diverse viewpoints can also be a community of love. Let’s be known as those “blessed peacemakers, who shall be called the children of God.”
Let us pray:
Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (A Collect for the Nation, Book of Common Prayer, p. 820)
The Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton
Bishop of Maryland
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry offers prayers for the nation
Bishop Mariann Budde of Washington and Dean Randy Hollerith of Washington National Cathedral offer prayers