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Prayer & POETRY

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2 Corinthians 5:16-21 The Inclusive Bible

The Ministry of Reconciliation

16 And so from now on, we don't look on anyone in terms of mere human judgement. Even if we did once regard Christ in these terms, that is not how we know Christ now. 17 And for anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation. The old order has passed away; now everything is new!

18 All of this is from God, who ransomed us through Christ—and made us ministers of that reconciliation. 19 This means that through Christ, the world was fully reconciled again to God, who didn't hold our transgressions against us, but instead entrusted us with this message of reconciliation. 20 This makes us Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making the appeal directly through us. Therefore we implore you in Christ's name: be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake, God made the One who was without sin to be sin, so that by this means we might become the very holiness of God. 

This passage is from The Inclusive Bible: The First Egalitarian Translation, copyright © 2007,
Priests for Equality. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. 


2 Corinthians 5:11-21 is an example of scriptures that illuminates our call to reconciliation. Please let our Coordinator know of other passages in our scriptures that speak to our themes. Thank you.

Original Prayers

These are original prayers written for Iridesce: The Living Apology Project and may be used for community worship or during personal prayer. If you reproduce a prayer, please make reference to this Project and source, and let us know that you have found them useful by sending an email to Thank you.

Prayer for Colourful

Photo credit:

A Prayer for a Colourful Inclusive Church

by Iridsece: The Living Apology Project, 2017.

Living Spirit,

      You call each of us by our name; you call us Loved.

      Together, you call us by our many names; you call us Wonderfully Diverse!

      You call us to come together; you call us Community,
      You call us Church, you call us to this Project…

      You have called us to this time and to this place of

            sharing and listening, of naming and listening, of healing and listening…


Living Christ,

      We listen to the very beat of our hearts,

            an echo of your compassion for those who live on the margins:

      Because of who they love, how they love;

            how they express themselves;

            how they do it or don't do it;

            how their bodies are or aren't;

            how they have been transformed by the courage of authenticity;

      May our hearts beat together with theirs.

      Like you, we too are divinely designed.

      May we live our human years on this earth in your Way,

            as we walk together in your path of love and justice,
      with God and with each other,

            where all are invited and welcomed, valued and celebrated!


Living God,

      You have responded to our cries for justice,

            with decades of courageous organizers, witnesses, advocates and allies;

      You have responded to uplift the lonely and the broken hearted,
      with countless 
friendships, supportive families members,
      social communities, and affirming churches;

      You have responded to our vision of a colourful and inclusive church,

            with the pastels, paints and brushes of courage, faith and commitment!

            With song and dance!

            With music and celebration!


We thank you for your trust in us.

We thank you that we have been called to be part of this moment in your church when people

            of diverse skin colours and cultures

            of diverse incomes and means

            of diverse ages and abilities

            of diverse lifestyles and commitments

            and of diverse sexualities and gender expressions

      are hearing the call to come together to revive hearts and minds and customs and institutions into living, breathing, dancing, painting, singing, *joyful* celebrations of your people!


May it be so!


Prayer in Gratitude for Divine Diversity


In Gratitude for Divine Diversity

by Iridsece: The Living Apology Project, 2017.


Spirit of Creativity, How good and how awesome is the variety of your people and your world! Life fans out around us in every possible way... in ways that continue to astound and inspire us!


God, in Jesus Christ, you have shown us how to accept these gifts of divine diversity... by walking together in mutual friendship and giving thanks for being "fearfully and wonderfully made". Today everywhere the currents take us, may our living illuminate the awesome imagination of who we are and how we love You and Each Other! Amen.

Photo: Creative Commons.

Prayer for Trans People

A Prayer for TRANS People

by Iridsece: The Living Apology Project, 2017.


Loving God, I pray for trans people going into a place of work or study that is less-than-welcoming to who they are. Stretch our minds, our hearts and our arms... so that through our work and welcome all may know that they are loved and cherished by you! Amen.

Prayer for Bisexual People

A Prayer for BISEXUAL People

by Iridsece: The Living Apology Project, 2017.

God, you know us and embrace all the ways we open our hearts to love. Today we thank you for the gifts that bisexual people bring to our churches and our communities. We thank you for the “both/and” way of loving that looks beyond gender categories, to see and value each other for our inner selves. For a love that blends and colours outside the lines!


We pray for the invisibility that many bisexual people face, both in the straight world and in queer communities. Especially when in a long-term relationships, bisexual people often feel invisible, their commitment and place within the diversity of gender and sexual identities and expressions is often lost to other categories. Bisexual people can feel that their sexuality is erased or irrelevant.


God you know us and see us. You call us to know ourselves more deeply and more clearly. With you we need not be one or the other of anything. Rather you love all of us, just as we are, in the fullness, nuance and complexity of our whole histories and our whole beings.


Photo: Creative Commons:


Photo credit: Jim E Maragos, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wikipedia Commons. 2013.

Photo: Creative Commons.

Photo: Creative Commons.


Click for a PDF or ".docx" version of this prayer.

Display a yellow, red, blue, green, and multicoloured candle. 


Yellow candle is lit. 

Speaker 1:

Do you see me? 

I am the tired elder who feels a jaundiced yellow. 

I would like you to notice me as I am. 

Congregation: We see you. Holy One, forgive us. 

Red candle is lit. 

Speaker 2: 

Do you see me? 

I am the child who feels left out. 

I am red with anger. 

Congregation: We see you. Holy One, forgive us. 


Blue candle is lit. 

Speaker 3:

Do you see me? 

I am the teenager who is bullied and battered

because of my orientation. 

My heart is blue. 

Congregation: We see you. Holy One, forgive us. 


Green candle is let. 

Speaker 4:

Do you see me? 

I want to join you in the pews with my partner. 

I am green with envy that many of you find it so easy to belong. 

Congregation: We see you. Holy One, forgive us. 


Multicolour candle is lit. 

Speaker 5:

Do you see me? 

I am unsure of who I am. Today I am violet, 

yesterday orange, 

tomorrow… who knows?

All speakers together: Do you see us?!

Congregation: We see you. Holy One, forgive us. 



- - - - -

With thanks to Paul Browning Trinity U.C., London, Ontario

Written by Paul Browning Trinity U.C., London, Ontario. Gathering, A/C/E 2017/18 (Year B) Exploring & Celebrating… The Whole Body of Christ, page 84. Used with permission.

Do you notice
POEM "You are not affirming our existence"
by Joy Cowan

Click here to view a PDF of this poem. (Size: 85K)

This poem was written to help churches who are struggling with the Affirming process or who are reluctant to even begin it due to fear of conflict and division. I believe that the issue at hand is about more than just equality for the UCC’s LGBTQ+ members, it’s really about responding to God’s call to keep stretching our hearts so that we can love one another more fully. This is the task set before each of us (including those of us within the queer community) and it’s important that we not to get sidetracked by fear, ignorance, or feeling overwhelmed by the Affirming process. 


Love one another as I have loved you. (John 13:34)

Bio: Joy Cowan is a queer UCC Candidate for Ordained Ministry and is a student of Emmanuel College who is currently engaged in a shared ministry internship with St. Paul’s UC (Sussex), Hampton UC, and Andrew Donald Pastoral Charge (Salina Kirk and Southfield UC) in New Brunswick. 

Worship Service

Iridesce has a worship service prepared for use in United Church contexts. This resource was prepared by Manitou Conference and generously shared with this Project. If you would like a copy of this resource, please contact our Coordinator at


From Rev. Lesley: "We've had quite a homophobic time in St. Stephen, NB the last month. The middle-school students petitioned council for a rainbow crosswalk and council behaved badly... and incredible social action resulted in a pride walk and council being shamed into submission. Here is the reflection I delivered in church called "oppressed rainbows". 

To view this video sermon, please visit the "Video" section of our Facebook Group at


Photos: Pixabay Creative Commons (left). Wix Commons (right).


“Where is the Love?” expresses lament, hope, faith and love in a beautiful musical hymn (for voice with piano, guitar and flute) that reflects the work of the people of the United Church of Canada through Iridesce: The Living Apology Project, as we look back at our vote to welcome gay and lesbian people into membership and eligibility for ministry in 1988, and how we have lived into and struggled with that welcome over the last thirty years.


The lyrics were written by Robert B. and emerged during an Iridesce workshop at Grace United Church in Hanover, Ontario. The music was written by composer InkYoung Lee, a musician who is a member of Elora United Church, in Elora, Ontario. Many thanks to these talented and generous artists!

Preview Sheet Music for "Where is Love?"
Download Sheet Music PDF:
Voice & Guitar PDF
Choir & Piano PDF
Voice, Flute & Guitar PDF
Choir, Flute & Piano PDF
Or email our coordinator at

Youtube link: 

Or click here.

Song credit: Where is the Love? © 2018,
Robert Blackmore (lyrics) and Inkyoung Lee (music). 

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