Growing in Love of God and Neighbor

The God’s Diversity Committee strives to increase awareness, appreciation and knowledge of diverse people; to provide programs, spiritual services and other activities, that demonstrate the beauty of various cultures; to cultivate opportunities for inclusion, acceptance and understanding; to move through the world with open and accepting hearts as a way to strengthen our community and spread the word of God; to enable individuals to identify, develop and use their spiritual and other gifts to cultivate prophetic witnessing; and to develop and exemplify a set of core values that include excellence, accountability, transparency, and respect in all that we say and do.

Native American Heritage Month – November 2022

During November, the God’s Diversity Committee recognizes Native American Heritage Month and invites the members of Trinity to join us in celebrating the peoples who first inhabited our Nation. Every Sunday, we ask that you join us in prayers of thanksgiving for Native Americans, their resilience, strength and contributions to our shared history. You can find prayers and resources here.

Indigenous People’s Day – October 10, 2022

The members of Trinity’s God’s Diversity Committee invite our community to join us in celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday, October 10 and in recognizing the resilience and diversity of Indigenous Peoples of the United States.

Since 1991, dozens of cities, several universities and a growing number of states have adopted Indigenous Peoples’ Day as a holiday and a celebration of the history and contributions of the original inhabitants of this land that has become the United States.

Perhaps the best way we can honor our indigenous brothers and sisters is to join our voices in prayers of joy, celebration, lament, atonement and restoration. The following prayers have been written by Episcopal Congregations in the United States and Canada that have a significant number of Indigenous members.

Acknowledgement and Thanksgiving for the Land

Creator, you made all people of every land. It is our responsibility to give thanks and respect to those who first occupied this land we are upon. We give thanks to the first peoples of this land. We offer our respect to those ancestors who may be interred in this land. We are also thankful for the gifts of the People of the land. Creator let us be of Good Mind to reconcile the mistreatment of this land and to those who have been displaced. With thankful and respectful hearts, we pray in Your name, Your son the Peacemaker and the Sacred Spirit. Amen.

From “A Liturgy for the National Indigenous Day of Prayer” (Adapted from liturgy prepared by All Saint’s Church, Minneapolis, MN).

Prayer for Healing and Reconciliation – National Indigenous Day of Prayer

In peace let us pray to the Lord, Holy Creator, in whom all things in heaven and earth have their being, to the risen Christ, through whom the whole creation is reconciled to God, and to the Life-giving Spirit, whose love and truth fills the world and searches the depths of our lives, Blessed Trinity, source of both unity and diversity, have mercy on us.

Dear Savior, forgive and heal us, from our participation in the systematic oppression of indigenous sovereignty, language, culture and spirituality; from our role in the Indian Residential Schools designed to eliminate the unique society, wisdom and beauty of the indigenous peoples of this land;  from our complicit tolerance of the decimation of Indigenous family structures leaving children vulnerable to abuses of every kind; and from our continued acceptance of unjust legal, educational, health and social structures that continue to oppress and destroy the lives of many indigenous people.

O God, we pray for the gifts of your grace and your love which never gives up on us and is forever faithful. Inspire our minds with a vision of the reconciliation of your kingdom in this time and place. Touch our eyes, that we may see the sacredness in all creation. Touch our ears, that we may hear from every mouth of every peoples the hunger for hope and stories of refreshment. Touch our lips, that we may speak of the beauty of every tongue and dialect proclaiming the wonderful works of God. Touch our hearts, that we may discern your mission in which you call us to be immersed, particularly in partnership with the First Peoples of this land. Touch our minds that we may witness to your Good News in our neighborhoods, communities and all parts of the world. Touch our hands, that we may forever shun violence and embrace the work you give us to do.

Draw your Church together, O Lord, into one great company of disciples, together following our Lord Jesus Christ into every walk of life, together serving you in your mission in the world, and together witnessing to your love on every continent and island of your creation. We ask this in the name of the Risen Christ in whom we are one. Amen.

Written by the Clergy and Congregants of St Peter’s Anglican Church, Okotoks, Canada.

O God of infinite mercy, we live in a land where the native peoples were moved, often by force, from bountiful lands they inhabited to places of desolation. Help us to support them now as they seek to retain their rich native cultures. Open our eyes to the poverty and despair that so often accompany them through life, and give us the courage and will to change the systems that perpetuate injustice, for the sake of your Son our Lord. Amen.

Episcopal Diocesan Commission to End Racism