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 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 . . .

Posted by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on May 19, 2016

This is the Age of Weaponized Drones. They are widely used in the war against terrorists and other enemies of the state. Hard facts on the frequency and targets of drone attacks are difficult to come by given the secrecy of the CIA and U.S. military and its allies. Still, more and more concerned citizens are voicing their objection to the widespread use of drones.

Report: From an article from . . .

Posted by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on April 26, 2016

God has given us the great gift of sharing the planet with heroic and compassionate animals. Some of them are rescue dogs who search for those trapped in the rubble of businesses, houses and offices after earthquakes and other similar disasters.

Article: The Huffington Post in its coverage of the April 16, 2016, earthquake in Ecuador which left at least 650 people dead, reported on the heroic efforts of Dayko, a rescue dog who is credited with saving at least seven people from the rubble. According to the City of Ibarra Fire Department, this friendly four-year-old Labrador was cherished for his "good sense of smell and charisma" and the "beautiful friendship" he had with his handler. After days of searching for quake survivors, Dayko suffered a heat stroke followed by a heart attack. His funeral was attended by firefighters, other rescue workers, and his fellow rescue dogs.

And so we pray this news:

Creator and Loving God, we give you most hearty thanks for heroic animals like Dayko who inspire us with their courage and compassion. They speak to us through their loving actions and they lift our spirits with their self-giving and trust. May we be more thoughtful about the souls of our companion animals who often are some of our most revered spiritual teachers. So be it.

Posted by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on January 14, 2016

More and more people seem to be totally absorbed in their smartphones. An informal poll at Judson Memorial Church in New York City revealed that one of the greatest fears of elderly members was being knocked down on the street by someone staring at a phone. Distracted walkers have fallen off train platforms, tumbled down stairs, and collided with poles.

Article: The New York Times reports on an Ohio State University Study which discovered that injuries due to distracted walking doubled between 2004 and 2010, resulting in more than 1,500 emergency room visits for broken pelvises, legs and wrists, and injuries to the head and neck. Experts caution the public that this menace may get worse as handheld gadgets become equipped with more extravagant features.

And so we pray this news:
Wise and Faithful Guide, we pray that we may be more thoughtful of others as we take in the latest information from our smartphones and other digital devices. Help us to practice attention and kindness as we interact with others in public places. Help us to learn the pleasures of meditative walking so we can be safe ourselves and not harm others.


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