Guest post — Litany of Grief and Hope in a time of wildfire, Linda Grund-Clampit

Linda Grund-Clampit lay pastor at Falls City United Methodist Church in Oregon has sent this litany from her congregation’s worship August 5th after the deadly fires in Oregon and California, and just as appropriate in these days. She writes,
“I am convicted that worship must bring faithful expression to our daily experience. Perhaps this litany could be meaningful to others during this time of tragic fires in California — and in the future, as this vulnerability will not change quickly. The place where specific names are listed can, of course, be completed with appropriate names for the time of use or no names could be listed at all.”

Litany of Grief and Hope in a Time of Wildfire

Lord, our world is on fire.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

The summer brings heat and dry-ness,
but more than that our greedy use of fossil fuels
has unsettled the delicate balance
of weather and climate,
so that drought and excessive heat
follow season after season around the world.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We see the interdependence of your Creation
and our societies,
the acts of individuals
and the consequences for communities,
the reaping of what we have sown
and the harvest stunting generations.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We hear your promise of green pastures,
and still, refreshing waters.
We see the fruit of our foolish wanderings
away from where you lead.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Call us, gather us up,
lead us in paths of justice and righteousness
that the world may be healed.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

As you wept with Mary and Martha
at the tomb of Lazarus,
look with compassion on us and all who grieve
loss of home, loss of loved one, loss of economic security,
especially the family and friends of:

John Ruby, Brian Hughes, Jeremy Stoke, Don Ray Smith, Melody Bledsoe, James Roberts, Emily Roberts and others who have been killed in wildfires this season.

Grant them the assurance of your presence now
and faith in your eternal goodness,
that in them may be fulfilled the promise
that those who mourn shall be comforted,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We thank you for the courage and dedication of the firefighters, their support crews, National Guard and police departments, utility workers, farmers, and journalists; as well as neighbors and businesses in affected communities who have taken people in, offered free food and services, saved and sheltered animals, and been neighbor to each other in time of need.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

May the communities which rise from these ashes be blessed by those who walk in your righteousness, so that – in your time, Lord — their mourning may be turned to dancing, and their grief be turned into hope.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We ask all of this in the name of Jesus,
who taught us to pray together, saying

The Lord’s Prayer


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