Amy Kelly, from the First Church of Christ, Congregational, Bedford, MA, sent out this email request to the Institute for Welcoming Resources Yahoo group:
"Our church is planning to offer a prayer for those who may be coming out, National Coming Out Day. We have some resources for this kind of thing 'on order' but in the meantime, does anyone have such a prayer or know where I might find one online? It would be for those coming out, and for Grace for those receiving the information (assuming some will find it difficult to hear)."
I thought this was such a great idea that I invited everyone to share their prayers on MyOutSpirit.com. Thank you to everyone who contributed already, and I hope you will add your own prayers and affirmations in the comments area.
Peace & Blessings,
Blessed Creator, we give you thanks that we are all made in your image. We give you thanks for the love & compassion of this community that lead us to the decision to express that compassion through our declaration as an Open & Affirming congregation.
Father/Mother God, we give you Glory for you unconditional love. We offer up our gratitude for the confidence and the grace to be fully who you have made us to be.
This Saturday is a Day of Coming Out, we pray for all those who have come to the brave decision to be fully who they are with those they love and care about. We ask that you support them, now, and into the future as we know that coming out isn’t one event, but rather a continuous process over and over again.
Dear God, we ask for strength for those taking this courageous step in showing their whole selves that you hold dear and know so well, to others. As the Psalmist wrote “O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.” We ask for grace and understanding for those they share this part of themselves with, that they may see You in their friend or loved one. We ask for that same grace for those who come out, that they may find Your comfort, and have patience with for those who may need time to accept this new revelation. God, your extravagant welcome overwhelms us. May you continue speaking to us that we may live more fully into your Kingdom here on Earth.
We pray that all of the people of God, following the example of these courageous ones, come out to God, revealing our own beautiful, hidden places, and falling into the joy that comes of sharing our most authentic, best selves. Amen.
MK O'Haver offered these prayers from "Coming Out Young and Faithful" by Leanne McCall Tigert & Timothy Brown
Prayer for Coming Out
Creator God, I am learning things all the time.
It is a gift to get to know you and your world, your beautiful creations.
I am also getting to know myself,
and I am discovering I am attracted to members of my gender - other girls (or boys). Sometimes the things I feel are strong and deep.
Sometimes it even feels like love.
Sometimes I feel scared about these feelings.
Sometimes I feel wonderful about them.
I know that I am your creation,
and you have given me a wonderful gift in my orientation.
I pray for your supporting presence as I become more comfortable with my feelings.
I pray for your guidance,
that I may know when it is the right time
for me to let other people know about this part of me.
I pray for your supporting presence if I should be rejected,
knowing that you, God who created me, will not reject me,
that you will affirm me as part of your beautiful creation.
In your trust. Amen.
God you are the creator of the universe.
You created all that is.
You made the animals, and the fish and the birds,
you created humanity.
You created me
and you created the miracle that is my child, whom I love deeply.
I/We have just learned that s/he is gay.
I/We don't know why you created her/him this way
Help me/us not only to accept him/her
but to fully embrace and love him/her for who he/she is
I/We ask for your presence during my/our own journey with my/our daughter/son.
I/We also ask for your presence
and special protection with my/our child on her/his journey in this world,
which can sometimes be so cruel,
especially to one so different.
I/We ask your blessing on my/our family.
A Friend's Prayer
Loving Spirit and Friend,
my friend (name) is coming out as gay.
I ask for you to be present with my friend,
to help him/her know that s/he is loved - by me, by you, and by others.
Guide my friend as s/he comes to terms with his/her identity.
Protect her/him from the cruel things people may say or do;
surround him/her with support and with your love.
Bonnie Crouse says, "I helped present a Coming Out Day worship service at a Unitarian Universalist retreat center. We drew all the readings from poetry, then had a brief homily tying each one to spiritual matters and virtues of real human communities. My favorite was Pied Beauty, by Gerard Manley Hopkins, a lifting up the preciousness of all the things in creation that are irregular, different, unconventional, quirky....the point being that the perfection of creation has plenty of room for all of us who are, well, different. It made for some wonderful dialog following the service.":
|GLORY be to God for dappled things—|
|For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;|
|For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;|
|Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;|
|Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;||5|
|And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.|
|All things counter, original, spare, strange;|
|Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)|
|With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;|
|He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:||10|
Joni Christian says, "Be careful who you hate, it might just be someone you love," and offers two YouTube videos: