9 October 2018

Dean Tanya Linn Bennett and the Rev. Taylor Bean are available for pastoral care if you need someone to talk to during the service.

Gathering Music

Call to Worship

Kelsey Wallace

One: Give ear to our words, O God; give heed to our groaning.
Many: Listen to the sound of our cry, O God, we’re calling out to you.
One: O God, we believe that you hear our voices;
Many: we plead our case to you, and watch.

Hymn

“Why Stand So Far Away, My God?” TFWS #2180

Scripture

Sarah Galo

Daniel 13:15-27 (NRSV Catholic Edition)

15 Once, while two elders were watching for an opportune day, Susanna went into the garden as before with only two maids, and wished to bathe in the garden, for it was a hot day. 16 No one was there except the two elders, who had hidden themselves and were watching her. 17 She said to her maids, “Bring me olive oil and ointments, and shut the garden doors so that I can bathe.” 18 They did as she told them: they shut the doors of the garden and went out by the side doors to bring what they had been commanded; they did not see the elders, because they were hiding.

19 When the maids had gone out, the two elders got up and ran to her. 20 They said, “Look, the garden doors are shut, and no one can see us. We are burning with desire for you; so give your consent, and lie with us. 21 If you refuse, we will testify against you that a young man was with you, and this was why you sent your maids away.”

22 Susanna groaned and said, “I am completely trapped. For if I do this, it will mean death for me; if I do not, I cannot escape your hands. 23 I choose not to do it; I will fall into your hands, rather than sin in the sight of the Lord.”

24 Then Susanna cried out with a loud voice, and the two elders shouted against her. 25 And one of them ran and opened the garden doors. 26 When the people in the house heard the shouting in the garden, they rushed in at the side door to see what had happened to her. 27 And when the elders told their story, the servants felt very much ashamed, for nothing like this had ever been said about Susanna.

Litany of Lament and a Cry for Justice

Kelsey, Hayoung, and Sarah

One:
Hear us, Christ, when we cry to you for all the women and girls who like Susanna are victims of violence. Hear us, Christ, for they are stripped and beaten as you were stripped and beaten, they are humiliated and used as you were betrayed and shamed. For the beaten girls and the battered women, blamed and bruised by angry men,
Many: we cry out to you: bring justice!

One:
For the young girls given or sold in marriage, and for unwilling brides with no way out,
Many: we cry out to you: bring justice!

One:
For the women raped as a weapon of war and for the children they bear in grief and shame,
Many: we cry out to you: bring justice!

One:
For the victims of rape who are killed or take their own lives, and for the survivors who live with its scars,
Many: we cry out to you: bring justice!

One:
For the girls denied access to education, told they are stupid or worthless or expendable,
Many: we cry out to you: bring justice!

One:
For the girls and women sold or tricked into the sex trade, and for sex workers exposed to disease and violence,
Many: we cry out to you: bring justice!

One:
For the mothers, whose children are taken away by armies, governments, churches or family members,
Many: we cry out to you: bring justice!

One:
For the girl-children who are unwanted and rejected, the first to be aborted or abandoned, the last to be fed:
Many: we cry out to you: bring justice!

One:
For the women beaten in their own homes, and for their children who see and hear the violence,
Many: we cry out to you: bring justice!

One:
For the women trapped in destructive relationships, manipulated, controlled, justifying their abusers,
Many: we cry out to you: bring justice!

One:
For the women who hide their bruises and lie about their injuries for fear of the next attack,
Many: we cry out to you: bring justice!

One:
For the women bullied in their workplaces, belittled, underpaid, threatened with losing their job,
Many: we cry out to you: bring justice!

One:
For the women in prison, for those abused and abusing, beset by poverty, mental illness and addictions,
Many: we cry out to you: bring justice!

One:
For the women attacked because of their sexual identity, targets for physical or spiritual assault,
Many: we cry out to you: bring justice!

One:
For the women and girls denied religious freedom, forced to submit by custom or law,
Many: we cry out to you: bring justice!

One:
For the older women, for those frail in body or mind, fearful of violence, manipulation or neglect,
Many: we cry out to you: bring justice!

One:
We cry to you, Christ, for our sisters, our daughters, our mothers, ourselves.

Many: Bring justice. Bring healing. Bring hope. Amen.

Sung Response

“How Long?”

We wait for your coming,
we wait for new life,
we wait in our despairing,
we wait through the strife.

But how long? How long?
How much longer must we wait?
How long? How long?
How much longer must we wait?

Lord, we are forsaken,
we yearn to be free,
Sam said, “Change is gonna come,”
but right now we can’t breathe.

How long? How long?
How much longer must we wait?
How long? How long?
How much longer can we wait?

Reading

Hayoung Kang

Except from the Testimony of Anita Hill, October 11, 1991

It is only after a great deal of agonizing consideration that I am able to talk of these unpleasant matters to anyone except my closest friends, as I’ve said before. These last few days have been very trying and very hard for me, and it hasn’t just been the last few days this week.

It has actually been over a month now that I have been under the strain of this issue.

Telling the world is the most difficult experience of my life, but it is very close to having to live through the experience that occasioned this meeting. I may have used poor judgment early on in my relationship with this issue. I was aware, however, that telling at any point in my career could adversely affect my future career, and I did not want early on, to burn all the bridges to the EEOC.

As I said, I may have used poor judgment. Perhaps I should have taken angry or even militant steps, both when I was in the agency or after I left it. But I must confess to the world that the course that I took seemed the better, as well as the easier, approach.

I declined any comment to newspapers, but later, when Senate staff asked me about these matters, I felt I had a duty to report. I have no personal vendetta against Clarence Thomas. I seek only to provide the committee with information which it may regard as relevant.

It would have been more comfortable to remain silent. I took no initiative to inform anyone. But when I asked by a representative of this committee to report my experience, I felt that I had to tell the truth. I could not keep silent.

Silence

Sung Response

“We Have Come Too Far” by June Jordan

We have come too far
We can’t turn ‘round
We’ll flood the streets with justice
We are freedom bound!

Litany of Commitment

Kelsey, Hayoung, and Sarah

One:
As a community of faith we will not forget those who are hurting. We will listen carefully. We understand there are those among us who suffer in silence. And so…

Many:
We will not further silence our neighbor with platitudes or should-haves. We commit to hold their pain gently.

One:
We know we must continue to challenge the power dynamics in our world that make abuse prevalent, even when these dynamics and systems benefit us.

Many:
We will not worship ideas or institutions. We will love God and love our neighbor above all else.

One:
We struggle to understand how the world can be so broken, but we will not let this deter us from seeking justice.

Many:
We will not cease praying for your Kin-dom come. We commit ourselves to the journey ahead. Our friends will walk alone no longer.

Sung Response

“We Resist”

Blessing

Sarah and Kelsey

We invite you to participate in making the sign of the cross where indicated during the blessing. 


Worship Notes:

For local resources check out The NJ Coalition Against Sexual Assault
If you need help contact: Morris CARES Sexual Violence Services 973.829.0587 atlantichealth.org

Elements of the service were adapted from the resources below. If you are looking for other resources similar to those used in the service today we encourage you to check out silenceisnotspiritual.org and faithtrustinstitute.org/resources/liturgy.

Call to Worship: strongwomenwrite.wordpress.com

Litany of Lament: silenceisnotspiritual.org

Anita Hill Testimony Excerpt

Litany of Commitment: strongwomenwrite.wordpress.com

Blessing: from “Healing the Broken Heart” faithtrustinstitute.org/resources/liturgy

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s