Associate Elder Dorla Coleman Bonner, Season of Change Ministries (Elder Corey Lex Cunningham, Pastor), Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, City of Kalamazoo, MI, Member of Gamaliel affiliate, ISAAC
As I reflected on the Common Prayer I was drawn to the phrase – weaver of the warp and weft of history. I love the poetic sound of the words but had no clue of what the words meant. As I researched the definitions, I learned that these are phrases that describe the orientation or direction of woven fabric. Basically, the warp goes one way and the weft the other with the result being a pattern that only the weaver could see until the fabric is completed. The warp and welp also is where the strength of the fabric is determined.
As we work together toward social justice with the Weaver of the warp and weft, it is so important that we dream, speak, and perform the work the Weaver has commissioned us to do. We have been commissioned by the Holy Scriptures to give justice to the weak and fatherless, show kindness and mercy to one another, not to devise evil in our hearts against one another and do unto others as you want them to do to you. That is the basic pattern of the fabric the Weaver has planned but unfortunately, we are today left without a completed woven fabric.
I am drawn to my favorite verse in the bible, Ephesians 3:20, which says, “Now until Him that is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us.” Part of that power is the ability to dream about what an amazing world would be without racism. This verse says that we have the ability to influence how the Weaver responds since it says he will do more than we ask or even think, which is our dreams. Within these dreams lies our collective strength of the fabric to keep us in the struggle. As with the Weaver of the warp and weft, we do not know what realized social justice will look like, we are only required to trust the Weaver, keep working and keep dreaming.
Questions for Reflection
- When was the last time you dreamed what this world would look like without racism?
- What would it look like if we, people of all backgrounds, would work together to have a focused collective dream of our world without racism?
The Common Prayer on Our Journey
Source of all being, Sacred mystery, you are the wellspring of justice. Weaver of the warp and weft of history, weave our lives into the fabric of your will. Guide us towards the Beloved Community. Forgive us when we have failed to give shape to the Beloved Community in our communities and in our lives.
All around us the ugly onslaughts of white nationalism, hate crimes, and systemic racism devastate your people, divide us, and threaten our democracy. All around us the wicked strut, and in high places are those who encourage the basest of attitudes and actions. Grant us wisdom and courage to confront these evils with the power of love and truth. Free us from timidity and equivocation. Help us to be bold in thought and action. May our lives and our faith communities model the change we hope to see in the world.
As we approach the November elections, keep us mindful that the right to vote is a sacred trust won by beatings, by imprisonments, by blood, by the relentless struggles of many who came before us. Help us to honor that legacy. May we vote our conscience and encourage others to do the same.
Heal our nation. Heal our hearts. Heal our nation. Amen.
Gamaliel National Religious Leaders’ Caucus invites you to 40 Days of Reflection on Our Journey to the Polls
Few national elections have had similar consequences as the November Election in 2020. Our nation stands in crisis and at a significant crossroad. The Gamaliel Network, an interfaith coalition of persons of faith who stand and act together for justice and equality, pledges to undergird the 40 days leading up to the election with prayer and reflection.
We urge you to use the Common Prayer below every day. On each day, we have asked a faith leader, from different traditions, to offer a reflection on the Common Prayer at this Moment of American Crossroads. We urge you to begin this prayer preparation with a day of fasting on Sept. 24,(or a similar expression of spiritual preparation), and then to engage in prayer at a time of your choosing each day, to prepare yourself, your friends and neighbors, and our nation, for this election.
The Gamaliel Religious Leaders Table has written a “Theological Statement on Hate Crimes and White Nationalism.” a faith statement on “White Nationalism.” The link to this statement is: https://gamaliel.org/our-work/religious-leaders-caucus/gnrlc-a-faithful-response-to-hate-crimes-and-white-nationalism/
Each reflection will include the leader’s personal reflection, questions for contemplation, and a suggested scriptural text from their tradition.
The Gamaliel National Religious Leaders’ Steering Committee