Litany of Thanks for Diversity, Empowerment, and Reconciliation

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This is a litany I composed for the opening prayer at a workshop on Gender Identities and Our Faith Communities sponsored by PFLAG and held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Fayetteville, AR November 8, 2016. What a dynamic, courageous, and passionate group of folks. I was very honored and humbled to be asked to offer the opening prayer.

Litany of Thanks for Diversity, Empowerment, and Reconciliation
By Bishop Brian Ernest Brown, OSH

Creator of life and giver of breath, you called us into being, each of us becoming a unique and special, living example of your love of diversity. And for this,

We give you thanks.

You have called us to offer witness and to celebrate this gift of diversity throughout your creation, by empowering others to see the beautiful possibilities of life and of love open to us all without exception, by the example of our very lives. And for this,

We give you thanks.

You have called us as a community here in this time and place, to show the world that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersexual, asexual, pansexual, and polyamorous people can be people of faith and that we are people of faith, and that our queer community, empowered by mutual acceptance and embraced by mutual love, is accomplishing beautiful things within this community, and indeed communities everywhere. And for this,

We give you thanks.

Help us in our struggle for equal rights that we not so much seek to do battle with one another, for in battles there is a winner and a loser, but rather that we seek to become reconcilers, for in reconciliation, one to another, our human family can finally begin to grow together in acceptance, peace, respect, and ultimately love. And for this,

We give you thanks.

Help us to be cheerful, orderly, and polite, civil, honorable, and sensible, discerning and discreet, generous, welcoming, and friendly, open-handed, truly loving, and full of humanity so that we may from a place of courage and hope, embrace a hostile world. And for this,

We give you thanks.

Help us to be willing, worthy, and respectful; and let us be outstanding for kindness and mercy, ministering to the wounded, the confused, the angry, the frightened, the lonely, and the lost so that we may become a living example of what it means to love one another as ourselves. And for this,

We give you thanks.

Knit us together in this community so that one to another, we become a strong and unbreakable support system. Bind us with a bond of peace that cannot be loosened and bind us with a bond of love that cannot be broken. And for this,

We give you thanks.

All these things we hope for, pray for, and give thanks for, in the name of that which is Love.

Amen!