Engaging Our Faith – Prayer for Justice (United Church of Christ)
Grant us, Lord God, a vision of your world as your love would have it:
A world where the weak are protected, and none go hungry or poor;
A world where the riches of creation are shared, and everyone can enjoy them;
A world where different races and cultures live in harmony and mutual respect;
A world where peace is built with justice, and justice is guided by love.
Give us the courage and inspiration to build it, Lord God, Amen.
As people of faith, united in our belief that every human being is a child of God, created in the image of God and beloved by God, we promote the full humanity and dignity of every person, the sacredness of all Creation, and the opportunity for everyone to achieve their full potential by calling for:
• The full civil, political and economic rights of every person regardless of race, creed, gender expression, or sexual orientation
We begin and end with the conviction that all persons are equally valued by God, and we advocate for a society that values the sacred worth of every person – no exceptions. Remembering that both the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures call us to love our neighbors as ourselves, and that the Biblical definition of a neighbor is everyone, we reject any and every form of discrimination and insist that all persons should have equal access to housing, education, employment opportunities, social services, and medical care, as well as equal voting rights.
• Elimination of hunger and poverty, and enactment of policies benefiting the most vulnerable.
In his very first sermon, Jesus stood and read from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor… to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free.” Recognizing the inherent worth and dignity of every human being, and acknowledging that there are systems and root causes that lead people to experience the oppression of poverty and food insecurity, we reject any characterization of those who live in poverty as morally deficient. We call our legislators to join us in holding fast to the vision of a society that ensures that every child of God has equal access to the basics: clean water and air; nutritious and affordable food; safe, adequate, and affordable shelter; heat in the winter; sufficient clothing; emergency and routine health care; and other necessities.
• Affordable and accessible healthcare.
In the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane.” We call out the sin of any system that views health care as a commodity to be bought and sold, that prioritizes profits for insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry over the health and wellbeing of all persons. We believe health care is a basic human right, and that as a nation we have a moral responsibility to join every other industrialized country in the world in ensuring universal access to health care.
• Tax and budget policies that reduce disparities between rich and poor, strengthen democracy, and provide greater opportunity for everyone.
Both the Hebrew and the Christian Scriptures remind us that one of the roles and responsibilities of government is to provide for the common good — to care for the most vulnerable and marginalized of our society. We call upon Maine’s legislators to prioritize fair taxes, moral budgets, and policies that honor the sacred worth of every human being. In the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “We are caught up in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all of us indirectly.”
• Sustainable communities marked by affordable housing and public safety.
Nearly every religious tradition teaches a version of the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” A community marked by justice and compassion is a community that ensures that everyone — adults and children alike — has the very things we want for ourselves and our own children, including an affordable place to live and the safety and security that offer peace of mind. We lift up the vision of a state where homelessness is abolished, where housing is affordable and accessible for all, and where all can safely live.
• Sustainable use of Maine’s natural resources, while reversing the effects of climate change.
Psalm 24 reminds us, “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it.” As people of faith, we call for a collective sense of responsibility for the ways in which we use and abuse the natural resources entrusted to us: water, air, soil, minerals, energy resources, plants, and animals. We call for an end to the depletion of nonrenewable resources and the practice of extracting fossil fuels through the transition to sustainable practices. We urge our legislators to prioritize every possible solution that addresses the crisis of global climate devastation.