Confessions & Assurances
Published by the Institute for Welcoming Resources, a program of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force and home of the Shower of Stoles Project www.WelcomingResources.org. Unless otherwise noted, permission is granted to reprint individual selections for congregational use.
CONFESSION OF SIN
Based on the Ten Affirmations for GLBT Spirituality
We are painfully aware of the ways we dismiss or disdain others who think or act or look differently from ourselves. At our best,
We celebrate the unity we create in the midst of our diversity.
We are so quick to look down on the defect or sin of another. At our best,
We affirm the inherent beauty, worth, and dignity of every GLBT and straight person.
We insist that our way and view are the only ones. At our best, we remember:
There are many paths to the sacred. The spiritual paths of GLBT persons are among them.
We get caught up in categories, presumptions, and stereotypes around and within us. At our best, we know:
The choice is not whether to be GLBT or straight, but whether or not to live an authentic life.
We so often want to pull the covers over our heads or stay in the closet. At our best, we acknowledge:
Coming out is a courageous and spiritual act.
We confess the times when sexual expression has been manipulative and self-interested. At our best, we understand:
Sexual expression is one of the many sacred ways that GLBT and straight adults can express the depth of love in their relationships.
We regret the ways in which sexuality and spirituality have been turned against each other. At our best, we commit ourselves:
We support each person's journey of integrating spirituality and sexuality which leads to wholeness.
We grieve the misuse of marriage, the withholding of its rights and responsibilities, for political gain. At our best, we proclaim:
Marriage is a sacred union for people who are committed to each other without regard to gender. Love makes a family.
We regret the missed opportunities to care for GLBT people persecuted by bigots. At our best, we pledge ourselves:
Spiritual leaders must take responsibility to lead, protect, and affirm GLBT people: children, adults, and their families.
We hold fast to the promising truth that we are one human family. At our best, we remind ourselves:
No one is free when others are oppressed.
CONFESSION & ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS
God, Who Made Me in Your Image
From the More Light Presbyterians Retreat & Mission Weekend
New Orleans, LA, 2006
|All: ||God, who made me in Your image, teach me to love myself as You love me.|
God, who made me in Your image, allow me to show that image to the world.
God, who made me in Your image, help me to see Your image in all those I meet.
God, who made me in Your image, teach me to conserve and protect all Your creation.
God, who made me in Your image, bless, protect, and keep me and all Your children safe.
|One: ||The One who breathed life into our lungs continues to be present with us. God, who has made us reflective of God's own image, has forgiven us all and made us new creations. Therefore, since our sins are forgiven, let us go forth with love and peace, honoring and upholding the dignity of all we meet, knowing we see reflections of God's image all around.|
|All: ||Thanks be to God.|
CONFESSION & ASSURANCE OF PARDON
We Are a Pilgrim People
By Rev. Ann B. Day
Program Coordinator, Open and Affirming Program of the
United Church of Christ Coalition for LGBT Concerns 1987-2007
Originally published in Shaping Sanctuary
|One: ||We are a pilgrim people, accompanied by our God,|
who journeys beside us, accepting who we are;
yet goes before us, beckoning us toward who we might become.
|All: ||But as we move through our days,|
other gods call to us, questions confound us,
direction blurs, indifference lulls; we lose our way.
|One: ||So we enter into silence, to discern again the nearness of God, who is our hope and guide.|
| ||(Moments for silent prayer.)|
|One: ||Sisters and brothers, we can trust God at all times,|
for the Holy One is our refuge and our salvation!
So with confidence, let us pour out a shared confession of our hearts.
|All: ||We confess to You, steadfast God,|
that we wander from the path of love upon which we are meant to walk.
Fears divide us, prejudice hardens us,
violence destroys us.
|One: ||But God eternally beckons.|
|All: ||We turn our hearts again to You,|
God of grace and mercy.
Forgive us love that is self-satisfied,
and teach us love that is self- and other-affirming.
Forgive us faith that makes us rush to judgment,
and give us faith that fills us with compassion.
Forgive us peace we have made with our divisions,
and unite us in peace that passes understanding.
We pray, with thanksgiving, in the name of Christ.
|One: ||By God's mercy, our feet are set again upon the path of faithfulness;|
our hearts are set again upon the coming of God's realm.
|All: ||Thanks be to God, our hope and our guide forever!|
We Give Thanks
From St. Andrews Presbyterian Church
More Light Sunday, 2005
|All: ||We give thanks, merciful God, that in Christ, You seek to unite all things in heaven and in earth, and to reconcile all people to one another and to You. We confess that the new creation is not yet complete in us, and that we feel everywhere the barriers that separate humankind. Forgive us, and fill us with Your Spirit of oneness. Reveal to us those places where pride and selfishness rebuild the walls once torn down in Christ; through the power of Your Spirit.