Today, nearly 500 faith leaders are gathering at Standing Rock for a day of prayer. Wherever you are, you are invited to join them. You are also invited to pray for Standing Rock with your faith community in the coming weeks.
Here is a prayer offered by Lyla June Johnston, a Diné poet who has been active at Standing Rock:
We pray for our family at Standing Rock.
We pray for Our Sister Water who is our life.
We pray for the healing and safety of the Water Protectors.
We pray for all those gathered at the Standing Rock camp.
We pray for those who are suffering from the trauma
Unleashed by the violence that occurred on 27 October.
We pray for traditional communities that have borne
The brunt of generations of violence, even at times,
Turning that violence on themselves and each other.
We pray for healing for the police;
For the healing for the pipeline workers;
For the bankers who fund the pipeline.
We pray for the people who are so disconnected
from their mother that they continue to injure her.
We pray for those who are on the Forgiveness Walk
on Sunday to the police station in Mandan, SD.
We pray for healing for the hatred that was
Generated on 27 October.
We acknowledge the sins of our ancestors,
the horrific acts perpetrated on our brothers and sisters
as a result of the Doctrine of Discovery.
We ask for forgiveness and healing from our sisters and brothers.
We pray for unity and oneness for all creation.
Without this healing we can’t think clearly, we can’t act rightly,
and we can’t serve our Mother in the fullest manner.
Please share this call to prayer on Facebook. Also, if you didn’t see the action alert we went on Tuesday, please scroll down to take a look, and consider joining the Creation Justice community in urging President Obama to stop police militarization at Standing Rock.
As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors and care for God’s creation. For many months, the water protectors at Standing Rock in North Dakota have stood in peaceful opposition to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. This pipeline would carry oil from North Dakota to Illinois, crossing lands and rivers that provide water to millions.
The advocates at Standing Rock have resolutely declared that they are not protestors but protectors and defenders acting out of a sacred commitment to protecting all life. They say, “water is life.” Yet, they face violence.
They have stood as peacemakers while government authorities and hate-filled hecklers deride them as criminals, rioters, and terrorists. Recent reports tell the story of children, women, and men gathering in prayer and song, only to suffer at the hands of those wielding batons and pointing rifles. We have witnessed an escalating, militarized response to their acts of nonviolence. Advocates have been arrested, strip-searched, and humiliated.
This week, more than 400 faith leaders, including members of the Creation Justice community, will travel to North Dakota to stand with the Standing Rock Sioux as they protect our water. Together on Thursday, we are all invited to pray in solidarity with them.
But right now, we must act for everyone’s safety — by calling off the militarized response.
These offenses are part of a larger story of ongoing racial injustice. In a letter to the Attorney General, Standing Rock Chairman Dave Archambault II reminds us that, “This country has a long and sad history of using military force against indigenous people–including the Sioux Nation.” That history is linked to the Doctrine of Discovery, a theme Creation Justice Ministries will further explore throughout next year.
Now is the time for action. Stand in solidarity with Chairman Archambault and the water protectors in prayer and action. Call on our leaders to end the militarized response at Standing Rock.
Courtesy of Shantha Ready Alonso, Executive Director, Creation Justice Ministries.