After a pro-Trump mob swarmed the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday, several faith organizations in Lancaster County responded to the unrest with calls for prayer.
Some posted written messages on their Facebook pages, while others addressed the historic day during livestreamed prayer services.
Here’s how a handful of Lancaster County churches addressed the insurrection in Washington, D.C.
“As followers of Jesus, one of the most important things we can do is pray. Join us in praying for our nation,” the church posted on its Facebook page Wednesday, accompanied by a graphic that reads “Pray for Peace.”
See the post at facebook.com/lcbcchurch.
Historic St. Mary’s Church
The church posted the following on its Facebook page on Wednesday.
“Prayer For Peace by Pope John Paul II:
“O God, Creator of the universe, who extends your paternal concern over every creature and guides the events of history to the goal of salvation, we acknowledge your fatherly love when you break the resistance of mankind and, in a world torn by strife and discord, you make us ready for reconciliation. Renew for us the wonders of your mercy: send forth your Spirit that He may work in the intimacy of hearts, that enemies may begin to dialogue, that adversaries may shake hands and peoples may encounter one another in harmony. May all commit themselves to the sincere search for true peace which will extinguish all arguments, for charity which overcomes hatred, for pardon which disarms revenge. Amen.”
On Thursday, the church shared an image of its church sign, which read: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace!”
See the posts at facebook.com/StMarysLancasterPA.
Unitarian Universalist Church of Lancaster
Unitarian Universalist Church of Lancaster invited members to participate in a virtual event, UU The Vote, “to bear witness to the attempted overthrow of the election results and take action.”
The church also reposted a message from The Church of Larger Fellowship on Wednesday. That message reads: “The news from the United States Capitol today has many of us in this country and around the globe on edge-afraid, worried, saddened, and angry. Armed white supremacists have stormed the Capitol incited by the President, while unarmed white supremacist culture continues to subvert our democracy from within the Capitol.” The message included a link to attend a virtual prayer service that evening.
To see the posts, visit facebook.com/UUCLancaster.
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
The Rev. Tim Mentzer, pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, went live on the church’s Facebook page on Wednesday as part of the church’s regular weeknight prayer service.
“I have to admit, that when I was thinking earlier today about evening prayer for this evening, I never thought I would end up addressing and praying with you about what we actually have in front of us right now,” Mentzer said. “We can lift up in prayer, our nation and the people of our nation, and really call upon God to descend the Spirit over our country and help us find some way toward unity and peace with one another.”
After a moment of silence to “let our hearts and minds settle,” Mentzer continued the service with select Bible readings.
See the video at facebook.com/holytrinity.lancaster.
St. James Episcopal Church
St. James Episcopal Church posted a call for prayer on its Facebook.
“Today is the Clergy from Feast of the Epiphany — the manifestation of Christ to the world as the Magi present their gifts to the newborn king.
“We write to you on this feast day, now also a day of national lament, humbly as your pastors, in our capacity as theological teachers and community peace builders.
“Competing unsuccessfully today against the reign of the Prince of Peace are anarchic forces of despair and rage. The noble principles of civil disobedience within a democracy are about respecting law and order and the institutions that preserve it, even when protesting what are believed to be unjust laws or actions.
“Whatever was intended at the start of the day, it ended in violence on Capitol Hill. What began as protest rooted in a love of country, ended as a manifestation of disorder and hate.”
The clergy then included a link to a virtual prayer service that evening.
“Guided by a spirit of equity let us see that the night is taken back by people of the light. Let us do this not only through prayer but also through the support of wise law enforcement — that itself can bend when it must but then can restore order quickly — so that the work of truth and reconciliation can begin again.”
The message was signed by the Rev. David W. Peck, rector, and the Rev. Shayna J. Watson, associate rector. To read the full post, visit facebook.com/saintjameslancaster.org.
Bright Side Baptist Church
The Rev. John Knight, Bright Side Baptist Church pastor, addressed the unrest at the Capitol in the church’s weekly Bible study on Wednesday, livestreamed on the church’s Facebook page. He said he received many calls and texts earlier that day about what unfolded.
“It’s just a bit out of control,” Knight said. “I don’t care which side of the political aisle you sit on. I need for the believers to bow with me as we look toward heaven and ask for God’s hand, ask for God to move in a special way, even amongst those people who are in the middle of all of the chaos.” He then bowed his head in prayer.
“We know God that this relationship you’ve nurtured with us over the years was designed for such a time as this, when we stand and look out, and cry out for your hand to move. God, we must confess, we’ve never, in my lifetime, seen such outrage and such behavior, especially in spaces that were deemed sacred. We just pray god that you will let your peace, that surpasses all human understanding, blanket Washington, D.C. We pray God that you will touch our president, who is going out, and the president that’s coming in. And we ask God that you will bring a calm upon their spirit, and even guide them… We lift them to you asking that you would shape their thinking, asking O God that you would give them the courage to stand and be a Christ-centered leader.”
To see the video, visit facebook.com/brightside.baptistchurch.