Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer;
We are one human family, though separated at times.
The men and women inside prisons and jails and detention centers
are our brothers and sisters.
We are connected in ways both seen and unseen,
ways that are life-giving and ways that threaten us all.
No one is free when any one of us is oppressed,
or caged, or violated, or forgotten.
Today, we remember these connections
and our mutual responsibilities to one another.
On this Criminal Justice Sabbath,
we remember every person whose life has been touched
by crime, violence, and mass incarceration.
We affirm that they are beloved members of our community.
We lift up people who have survived crime
or lost their lives to it,
that they might know their stories are heard and matter.
We lift up people in prisons and jails
that they might know they are part of our community
and that they are never walled off from you.
We lift up people re-entering society after prison, that they might find a welcome amidst disorientation and courage to start on a new path.
We lift up people migrating across borders
leaving traumas and hardship in their homelands
only to find themselves thrust into an inhospitable legal system.
We lift up people who work and volunteer in prisons and jails
that they might remain grounded in community
We lift up people working in the court systems and law enforcement, that they might be renewed in their commitments to public service and its opportunities to offer healing in places of hurt.
We lift up people working with survivors of crime,
that they might find balm to heal broken hearts.
We lift up foster families and case managers and social workers,
that they might provide a safety net where families cannot.
We lift up activists, advocates, and elected leaders
working to transform broken systems
and make real our dreams of a better future.
We lift up medical staff, recovery supports, and mental healthcare providers,
healing the harms of trauma in mind, body, and soul.
We lift up restorative justice practitioners,
guiding conflicts toward deeper healing in collaborative resolution.
We lift up communities
weakened by the absence of too many moms and dads, daughters and sons.
We lift up every child whose parent is incarcerated, and all children who are themselves in custody
that they might know they are loved and valuable beyond measure.
We pray that until crime and violence and oppression
no longer touch so many lives,
we will continue to remember these people.
We will continue to listen to the hard stories.
We will continue to work for healing.
We will continue to help restore justice.
Empowered by Your Spirit, we commit ourselves to this work.