Indigenous Peoples of Oceania—map
Gathering in Silence
Call to Prayer
Lighting of Candle
In the name of Jesus Christ, welcome to this sacred space that “stand(s) as a towering symbol of a people who knew injustice and strife on the frontier and who now seek the peace of Jesus Christ throughout the world.”
—Doctrine and Covenants 161:2b
Today in our prayers we remember the Indigenous Peoples of Oceania, residents of most of the islands of the Pacific Ocean, New Guinea, and the continent of Australia. We remember the the Polynesians, Melanesians, Micronesians, Papuans, and Australian Aborigines.
Scripture Reading—Matthew 5:21-37 NRSV
“You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire. So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell.
“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
“Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.’ But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one.
Prayer for Peace
O God, Our Creator and Sustainer
Today, in this moment of encounter with you
We pause to express our gratitude
For the assurance of your Divine presence with us.
We acknowledge your gift of peace
Which comes to us through the Spirit of Your Son Jesus Christ.
As we seek to open that gift of Christ's Peace in our lives
May we also commit to sharing that gift with others.
May our lives be a living witness demonstrating the fruit of that peace
Inviting all to share.
We pray for peace in our relationships, especially in the context of family.
May our family, your family, refocus from what divides to that which unites us.
Thus moving towards your peaceable kingdom
May all your creation be blessed.
In Christ’s Name we pray. Amen.
Today’s hymn is 309 in Community of Christ Sings, “Put Peace into Each Other's Hands.” Sing or silently reflect on the meaning of the text as it is sung. Hymn number 309.
Prayers of the People
As we enter a time of guided prayer, meditation, and musical reflection, you are invited to offer silent prayers or meditate during the moments of quiet. The Prayers of the People will begin with individuals and groups, then move out from this Temple of peace to include the human family and the planet.
You are invited to join in prayer and meditation as you close your eyes and imagine yourself held in God’s loving hands. Be aware of your current needs, known to you and the one who calls you by your name.
God of my life, may I receive your love, peace, and healing.
Imagine someone who is close to you being held in God’s loving hands. Perhaps this person is a good friend or someone with whom you are struggling.
God of relationships, may this person receive your love, peace, and healing.
Envision all the people of the world, every nation and tribe, every town and village. Imagine those that live in oneness, as well as those ravaged by war and violence.
God of all peoples, may these communities receive your love, peace, and healing. We remember all peoples, including the Indigenous Peoples of Oceania, for whom we pray today.
Behold all that God has created. See the beauty of the Earth. Recognize the brokenness and destruction we have caused. Imagine all the beauty and the damage held in God’s loving hands.
God of creation, may this planet receive your love, peace, and healing.
May this spirit of peace and compassion for ourselves, others, all people, and the Earth remain alive in us this day. Amen.
Take the peace you have found today in this sacred space with you into the world—renewed and inspired to act.
Go in peace.