A Prayer for Inauguration Day

A Prayer for Inauguration Day

The following is a message from Executive Conference Minister the Rev. Darrell Goodwin:

Dear Siblings in Christ,
It has been a harrowing first couple of weeks serving as your Executive Conference Minister, and yet I trust in the reality that God has called us all for such a time as this. As we look toward Inauguration today I share a prayer sent from our ecumenical partner that I hope will you offer solace and comfort:
Prayer from the Evangelical Church of Westphalia 
for our sisters and brothers in the United Church of Christ, USA 

Merciful God, 
there is unrest and storms in our hearts and homes, in our societies and in the world. 
We come before you in prayer for our beloved sisters and brothers in the USA: 
The democratic heart of America has been violated in front of the world. 
You heard the prayers 
those of the pious who made Trump their saint, 
those of the MPs under the benches who were afraid for their lives, 
Hear the prayers for our sisters and brothers in the United Church of Christ. 
They are threatened by deluded hatred, incited by abuse of power and lies, 
ready for violence and destruction. 
Because they don´t let go of their courageous testimony to just peace. 
Today and in the following days of President Biden's inauguration week
we feel particularly connected to them. 
Because in your mission to bring abundant life to all, 
You connect us as a church in Germany with the UCC 
through your gift of full church communion. 
Jesus Christ, 
we thank you and praise you. 
In a world full of injustice and enmity, 
you have revealed to us Gods love of the destitute, the poor and the wronged. 
You call us to stand by people in any form of suffering and need, 
you call us as your church to witness against and strive against any form of injustice, so that justice may roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. 
Obedient to this your call, 
UCC churches are among the entities that have been identified by law enforcement as potential targets of violent extremists. 
Holy Spirit, we ask you: 
Protect our sisters and brothers at risk of violence in the parishes of the UCC 
- their pastors, their leaders in parishes, conferences and the National Office. 
Strengthen their faith, their courage, their resilience in witnessing of Your Shalom. 
Bind us together, united by your loving spirit in your service 
and let also us in our context live out, 
to what Your calling and their testimony inspires us to do. 
God of peace, 
This week is so crucial for a new start towards justice and peace in this country 
so torn apart by racist violence and lies. 
We ask you for today and all coming days of this week of inauguration: 
Protect all people from violence.
Bless the new President Joe Biden, Vice-President Kamala Harris and the new Administration in their efforts for Justice and Peace and Healing of the Nation.  
Grant all of us Your peace that surpasses all understanding (Phil 4: 7). 
This peace enters where our understanding deems it impossible. 
This peace heals what seems to be irreparable. 
This peace brings healing, wholeness, completeness, diversity and inclusion. 
Thanks be to you. 
(Oberkirchenrat Dr Ulrich Moeller, Evangelische Kirche von Westfalen) 
I have invited our staff to take the time they need today to participate in this important moment of our democracy. This may mean that you may receive no response or a delayed response today and I ask for your patience. I also invite that if you have a meeting with conference staff and can afford to delay it for a day or so, I invite you to consider that on their behalf. Thank you in advance.
Finally, I wanted to make sure that you are aware that Rev. Dr. Donique McIntosh is no longer working for the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ. I welcome your continued prayer for Dr. Donique in the places that God will redirect her ministry. As we prepare to move forward in this critical time of racial justice, please know that this area will remain a critical priority for our new Conference. We have currently posted the position and I would ask that you forward the position description to any potential candidates that you believe would help offer leadership during this troubling time in our world. The posting can be found at  http://oppsearch.ucc.org/id/4362. Please feel free to send any questions, concerns or recommendations about our racial justice area to Rev. Dr. Audrey Price, you are also welcome to reach out to me as well if I can be helpful.
~ Rev. Darrell L. Goodwin

PS: Here’s a sneak peek of what you can expect today:

Swearing-In Ceremony and Inaugural Address 
Coverage starts at 10:30 AM ET
Where to watch: bideninaugural.org/watch

President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris will be sworn in on the West front of the U.S. Capitol building. After they take their oaths of office, President-elect Biden will deliver an inaugural address laying out his vision to defeat the pandemic, build back better, and unify and heal the nation.

Arlington National Cemetery Wreath Laying Ceremony 
Coverage starts after 2 PM ET
Where to watch: bideninaugural.org/watch

President-elect Biden, Dr. Biden, Vice President-elect Harris, and Doug Emhoff will visit Arlington National Cemetery for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to honor our men and women in uniform who paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our common values. They will be joined by President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, President George W. Bush, Laura Bush, President Bill Clinton, and Secretary Hillary Clinton.

Virtual Parade Across America 
Coverage starts after 3 PM ET
Where to watch: bideninaugural.org/watch

The President-elect will receive a Presidential Escort to the White House followed by a “Parade Across America,” which will feature diverse, dynamic performances in communities across the country.

“Celebrating America” Primetime Special 
8:30 PM ET
Where to watch: bideninaugural.org/watch

Final program with remarks by President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris, showcasing the American people’s resilience, heroism, and unified commitment to coming together as a nation to heal and rebuild. Hosted by Tom Hanks and featuring appearances by Eva Longoria and Kerry Washington, with performances at iconic locations across the country by Foo Fighters, John Legend, Lin Manuel Miranda, Bruce Springsteen, Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake, Ant Clemons, Jon Bon Jovi, and more.

For more details on the Inauguration Day schedule, visit the official Biden Inaugural website here.

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