A Prayer for Ferguson

FergusonTo the Georgetown University Community:

Last night a Grand Jury decided not to indict the officer who shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri of any charges. As a country and as a community, we will spend some time debating the presence or absence of justice in this case.

Whatever your opinion, the incident in Ferguson has brought into the public awareness, at least for the moment, a significant divide in our country. There exists a wide racial mistrust that pervades our society in conscious and unconscious manners; this mistrust exhibits itself most clearly and too frequently in tragic ways. Tonight, there are black families around our country that are reminded of the unnecessary violent loss of a son or a husband or a father. For all of our civil rights progress as a country, we still have so far to go.

So I offer this prayer for our nation.

Almighty God, who has created us all in your image:

We pray to you for the self-inflicted wounds of our nation that are rooted in the beauty of diversity. We ask that we may find the courage to confront the disguised and hidden biases of our nation, so that we may rise to a fuller understanding of justice. As a people of faith, may we heed your call to the challenges of this work and seek the larger betterment for all our community. And, as we commit ourselves to this endeavor, we pray for your comfort to the families that will gather this Thanksgiving with an empty seat; may our commitment give them some small solace.

We pray for comfort. We pray for justice. We pray for hope.


Rev. Bryant M. Oskvig (new window), Protestant Chaplaincy Director