Posted by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on January 4, 2017

"God of all creation, you created animals to roam the earth and fish to fill the seas. We pray for creatures on the verge of extinction, specifically that those responsible for poaching and polluting will be held responsible. Help us to live in a way that does not endanger life, but cherishes and nourishes the life in and around us. Amen." (Prayer for Endangered Species from the Editors of Sojourners)

Study: A new study released by the Zoological Society in London, Panthera, and the Wildlife Conservation Society reveals that cheetahs may be at greater risk of extinction than previously thought. Today, there are just 7,100 cheetahs left in the world, down from an estimated 14,000 in 1975. They have been driven out of 91% of their historic range as humans have converted wilderness areas to managed land for agriculture or livestock. Poaching of cheetahs and the killing of their prey for "bushmeat" are other causes of the population decline.

Built for speed, cheetahs are the world's fastest land animal. They have been clocked running at 70 miles per hour. Unlike other wild animals who find safety in numbers, these swift creatures are loners who learn to fend for themselves.

And so we pray this news . . .

"God, the list of extinct species grows.
What would you have us do?
I run toward You, Friend.
I trust that You hear me.
For the hubris of our ancestors that said, THIS IS MINE
Forgive us.
Of our hubris, here and now, cure us.
Teach us how to be a friend
to feathered and unfeathered
Teach me to remember THIS IS YOURS.
I pray there is still time."
— Carol J. Adams in Prayers for Animals

Posted by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on December 27, 2016

Ya Salaam, O God the Peacemaker. How can we have peace when the world is being flooded with weapons? Arms are being sold throughout the developed and developing world, with the United States as the leading manufacturer. And as the Trump administration prepares to take over in Washington, there is talk of a new arms race in nuclear weapons.

News: An article on nytimes.com . . .

Posted by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on December 9, 2016

Creator God, we are worried about the trees in our home state of California and elsewhere in the world.

Article: According to the Los Angeles Times, the number of dead trees in California's forests has risen dramatically to more than 102 million. “The scale of die-off in California is unprecedented in our modern history.” said Randy Moore, the forester for the region of the U.S. Forest Service. Scientists say that five years of drought are to blame for much of the destruction. Unusually high temperatures have added to the trees' demand for water. And the lack of rain makes the trees susceptible to beetles that can kill them. Officials have also predicted we will see many more wildfires fueled by dead trees.

And so we pray this news . . .
Holy Transformer, we pray that you will encourage those who are refusing to see or do anything about this catastrophe to change their ways.

Help us to realize the life-sustaining connections between forests and our lives so that we look for ways to protect them from drought, disease, and wildfires.

We give thanks for scientists and researchers who are doing all they can to come up with programs to deal more effectively with climate change.

We are grateful for the diligence and often unheralded heroism of forest firefighters.

And last but not least, we pray that you will give patience and resilience to families who have lost their homes and trees who have lost their beloved companions.

Amen.

Posted by Mary Ann Brussat on November 14, 2016

On November 8, 2016, the United States presidential election results in a surprising and shocking outcome: Donald Trump won enough states to give him a likely Electoral College victory, although his opponent, Hillary Clinton, received more of the popular vote. Later that week, our community, Pilgrim Place in Claremont, California, hosted its annual Festival, welcoming thousands of happy guests to the campus.

This prayer, adapted from one offered on Sunday, November 13, at Pilgrim Place, references both the Festival and the election. It also acknowledges another major event of the week, the death of singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen at age 82. For decades, Cohen's songs chronicled the challenges of our times with a mix of poetic expression, unusual imagery, astute observations, and spiritual depth. This prayer is a mashup of Cohen song titles (in all caps) and lyrics. (Visit this page to see Cohen's performances of some of these masterpieces.)

And so we pray this news . . .

Posted by Patricia Campbell Carlson on October 3, 2016

Lover of All Creatures, in our experience a well-loved, well-trained pit bull is the gentlest of gracious creatures, the epitome of loyalty, albeit perhaps a bit shy. You could hardly have given us any better companion. So we were stunned and saddened last week to learn about a new instance of breed-specific legislation against pit bulls.

Article: On September 27, 2016 the Montreal City Council voted . . .

Posted by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on August 24, 2016

Great Spirit, you have created a beautiful world for us to live in. You have sent rains and snow to fill our rivers. You have made the land rich in nutrients for our plants and animals. We want to show our gratitude by protecting these gifts. And so we are troubled by what is happening in North Dakota.

News: Dakota Access, a non-Native American company . . .

Posted by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on July 22, 2016

Great God, on November 8, 2016, the people of the United States will elect a new president. We know that guidance is needed for voters and candidates alike.

News: The Republican Party is holding its presidential nomination convention in Cleveland, Ohio, from July 18 – 21; Donald Trump will be their candidate for president. The Democratic Party is holding its convention from July 25 – 28 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Hillary Clinton will be their candidate for president. The Libertarian Party held its convention May 26 – 30 in Orlando, Florida; Gary Johnson is their candidate for president. The Green Party will hold their convention August 4 – 7 in Houston, Texas; Jill Stein is expected to be their candidate for president.

And so we pray this news . . .

Posted by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on July 15, 2016

News: An article by Kate Stringer in YesMagazine.org spells out a crisis:

"After being pulled over for a busted taillight on July 6, Philando Castile informed a Minnesota police officer at his window that he owned a gun and had a license to carry it. As he reached for his license and registration, his girlfriend and her 4-year-old daughter then watched as the police officer fired four shots into Castile’s body. He died in the driver’s seat.

"Castile was one of 137 Black people in the United States killed by a police officer this year [as of July 8, 2016]. Another Black man, Alton Sterling, was killed by police in Louisiana the night before. On Thursday, seemingly in response, five police officers were killed and six were wounded when snipers interrupted a peaceful protest in Dallas on July 7. Amid the violence there have been forceful calls to city leaders to address police racism and brutality."

Stringer then goes on . . .

Posted by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on June 30, 2016

The shock of losing a loved one or a community member to a terrorist's bomb or gunfire is no small thing. And there are no safe places anymore – not movie theaters, dance clubs, churches, airports.

Article: On Tuesday, June 28, the Ataturk Istanbul airport in Turkey was attacked by three suicide bombers. They came from Russia, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan and authorities believe they were part of the terrorist group ISIS. 45 people were killed and hundreds were wounded.

And so we pray this news . . .

Posted by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on June 12, 2016

Comforting God, we awoke this morning to news of the deadliest mass shooting on United States soil in modern history. Once again we are called to prayer and reflection about gun violence and hate crimes.

News: Early in the morning of June 12, 2016, a 29-year-old man, Omar Mateen of Ft. Pierce, Florida, walked into a gay nightclub and opened fire with his assault weapon. 49 people were killed inside the Pulse Club and at least 53 people were injured. The gunman was killed by the police. The authorities are calling this an act of domestic terrorism.

And so we pray this news . . .

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About This Blog

The daily news summons us to prayer. The people, situations, and events of our times call out for our compassion and God's healing presence. In this blog we will pray in a variety of forms as we lift up the needs of the world. We hope that by praying the news in this way we will also expand both our spirituality and our practice. More