Pastor Brian’s Invocation for the Chattanooga March for Solidarity with Standing Rock

Pastor Brian Merritt gives the invocation at the Chattanooga March for Solidarity with Standing Rock

Mercy Junction Justice and Peace Center has been active in supporting the water defenders' resistance at Standing Rock. In addition to organizing training for legal observers who were traveling to support the protests, raising funds and supplies to send to the camp, and other actions, Mercy Junction Pastor Brian Merritt gave the invocation at the Chattanooga March for Solidarity with Standing Rock. Below is his prayer.

We are unsure whether to begin with an invocation or a confession this morning.

We stand on land whose pain, blood and violence are drenching its soil.
Both our biological ecosystem and our spiritual ecosystem cry out in pain from the scars we inflict.

When 60 percent of all invertebrates are threatened with extinction,
Our air today is choked with fire from human related drought,
Earthquakes shake the plates of Oklahoma because of fracking,
Children are maimed because of city water supplies in Flint,
Center pivots shoot precious water into the air to evaporate away from their source,
Herbicides deplete the earth of bees for crops that are fed to cattle and to produce subsidized corn syrup,
Factory farming tortures living creatures, pollutes the streams and increases greenhouse gases,
Pipelines burst in Alabama while others are sure to destroy holy sites and threaten water.

Holy One,

Help us to be the ones who fight for wholeness of the land,
Stand in solidarity with those who have taken on an understanding of stewardship that should have been where we started our faith.

Let us understand that love is action and active,
It will not abide neighbor’s suffering, starving or being exploited by people because they have unfettered power.
We pray for dismantling of the corporate oligarchs that destroy our planets, exploit workers, destroy families and care more about profit margins that breath, community and faith.

We pray for the repentance of leaders whose concern for power has overridden their commitment to the well-being of much of inhabitants on this planet. We pray for the strength and courage to press them until they are turned toward justice.

Most of all we pray for each other and the care that we have for those who are our fellow seekers on this fragile planet. Help us to always feed, clothe and love each other without concern for our own wellbeing.