A Community of Faith in the Jupiter, Tequesta and Hobe Sound Area
The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd
"We Have A Place For You."
The Rev. Dr. Douglas F. Scharf
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Read Fr. Doug's blog for sermons, notes and more.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This past week has been marked by controversy and turmoil surrounding the practice of separating immigrant families as they cross the border into our country. The news that thousands of children have been separated from their families has sparked widespread protest and the practice has been denounced as inhumane by many of our community and faith leaders across the theological and political spectrum. The events of the past week have also revealed the deep divisions that still exist within our country over issues of immigration and national security.
As a pastor and priest, what deeply troubles me is the profound lack of civility within our society and the apparent inability of many of our leaders to engage in meaningful dialogue about these important matters. The vitriolic comments I have read on social media, the demonization of those with whom we disagree, and the mean-spirited character of conversations only serve to deepen our division and further alienate us from one another. In our baptismal covenant, we promise to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being,” which includes those who are different from us and those with whom we disagree.
One of the most poignant prayers in The Book of Common Prayer is the collect For the Human Family, which prays that God would “take away the arrogance and hatred which infects our hearts.” This is my prayer for all of God’s people, that our divisions would be healed, and our world reconciled by the love and mercy of God.
Today, the Episcopal Church is holding a national prayer vigil to pray for our country and for all those affected by violence and persecution here and abroad. May we be able to set aside our differences and turn our hearts to the God of all mercy, who alone can heal our troubled hearts and set us free.
A Prayer for the Human Family
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.