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Sunday, June 19, 2016: Evil

Centering Presentation: “Remembering Orlando and Charleston”

A Message for All Ages: Fuzzball’s Run

Scripture Readings:
1 Kings 19:1-15a (NRSV): Elijah Seeks Refuge on Mt Horeb
1 Kings 18:36b-40 (NRSV): Elijah at the Alter

Sermon: Evil

Pastoral Prayer

Lord God, forgive us for demonizing others. Forgive us for condemning others for simply being who they are. Forgive us for seeing others as less then human. Through these things we create Hell here on earth; welcoming the demons of darkness and eternal fire into our own souls. Hell is not some netherous place in the afterlife. Hell is right here, right now.

Hell is in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. In Boulder, Colorado. In Oak Creek, Wisconsin. In Charleston, South Carolina. In San Diego, California. And now, in Orlando. Florida.

Hell takes root when we believe that verbal or physical violence, and even the threat of deadly force, is our first defense against what we judge to be the transgressions, or faults, of those around us. Hell thrives when we deny our own culpability, or when we encourage violence or injustice against our neighbor for simply being “Other”.

Hell cannot die if we do not accept that the presence of evil in this world depends upon our own sin, not upon the sins of others.

Hell is in every city and town. Hell is in every one of us.

And yet, you are our God. You forgive the evil we create; you love us unconditionally, despite our many faults and wrongs and imperfections.

We pray that we can wholeheartedly forgive as you do: rejecting and healing ourselves from the Hell we’ve created for ourselves and others here on God’s Earth.

Lord, you teach that we will free ourselves from Hell through embracing love, not hate. Help us now.

Benediction

Blessed are the peacemakers, the rabble-rousers, those who speak out.

Blessed are those who advocate, who protect, who testify, who investigate.

Blessed are those who speak truth to power, who stand up, who educate.

Blessed are those who suffer under the weight of injustice, blessed are those who have no voice, and blessed are those who seek safety in the shadows.

Lord, renew within us our commitment to be your loving children. Let us not be silent in the face of injustice and oppression. May we never let evil go unchallenged again. May we never be silent.

Lord God, giver of hope, healer of all: may your Spirit and power and justice fill and inspire all who need it, even those who do not want it.

Amen!

 

Departing Presentation: “Give a Little” SuperTramp

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