It is with grieving hearts that we offer prayers of protection for our Asian American siblings here in Cherokee County, Atlanta, and everywhere. Anytime we hear of racially targeted violence, we are moved to pray and stand in solidarity with those who have been harmed. We pray for healing for these families and for the deep grief work that is ahead. We pray for the communal grief that impacts each of us in different ways.

We mourn that the sin of racism has cost lives yet again. We also pray for the courage to use our voices to put an end to hateful speech that leads to hateful action. We pray against any fear and anxiety that may grip the hearts of our Asian American siblings on a day like today. On this day, we hold our siblings in our hearts and cry out to God for justice to flow down like water and for righteousness and peace to surround us like an ever-flowing stream.

On behalf of Cherokee Presbytery and the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta, we are here to offer support and solidarity in this difficult season. If there are specific ways we can be of service, please do not hesitate to reach out via email, text, or call. 
Rev. Aisha Brooks-Lytle
Executive Presbyter
Presbytery of Greater Atlanta
Rev. Joel L. Alvis, Jr., Ph.D.
Mission Coordinator & Stated Clerk
Cherokee Presbytery
(adapted from The Presbyterian Church of Canada in response to gun violence in Canada in April 2020.) 

God of loving-kindness, 
you hold all situations and souls in your hands and 
you are our refuge and strength, 
an ever-present help in times of trouble.

You sent Christ into the world 
that we might have life 
and have it abundantly; 
he came as the Prince of Peace 
to a world that is too often violent.

We come to you in grief 
for those whose lives are cut short or are now forever changed; and 
we come to you in sorrow and anger 
at the violence in our streets, communities, and across the globe.

Give us strength to be a comfort to those in sorrow; 
give us wisdom to be voices of peace in moments of chaos, tension and fear; 
and give us courage to be a force for change in our communities.

And in your grace, let us see the day when the circumstances that lead to violence are transformed into opportunities for peace and healing.

These things we pray in Jesus’ name.