It's been a week now since nine people were brutally killed in an African American Episcopal Church in Charleston.
One should be careful in such times to say too much. It is not for me to show up and opine or hold forth or add my outrage or prescriptions to the mix. There is enough of that already, and I am loathe to play the part of Job's windy friends.
But one should be careful too, to say too little. In his Letter from Birmingham Jail (which the Trinity faculty is reading together this summer), the Reverend King expressed his concern not only for the "actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people."
So what can we say?
Here is something: Leroy Barber, Chair of the Board of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) and pastor of Imago Dei Community put together a OneChurchLiturgy. I've copied it below and would recommend it to the Trinity community.
It is a lament, a biblical form of hopeful but realistic complaint, a way of speaking to God and to ourselves that is honest yet faithful, hopeful but not naive. Such prayers have a venerable heritage in the Psalms, in Lamentations, and in many of the prophets.
Last Sunday, over a thousand churches used this liturgy to respond to this tragedy. In this video, Reverend Barber speaks powerfully about the way churches have crossed racial and other lines to come together around this way of truthful prayer.
Perhaps you might want to pass this along to your pastors, in case they want to use in corporate worship. If Trinity were in session now, I would call us together to pray this with the church universal.