General News and Announcements
Remembering Nelson Mandela
5 December 2013
As the world mourns the death of Nelson Mandela, Moderator Gary Paterson reflected on the life and legacy of Mandela.
“We have an opportunity today to remember the man – his determination to confront apartheid and injustice; his commitment to freedom and equality; his capacity to endure twenty-seven years of prison and emerge with his soul intact, able to forgive and embark on a journey of reconciliation, persuading others to follow along with him,” commented Paterson.
In this moment says Paterson, “We are called to give thanks for Mandela’s life – not simply to praise him, but to honour his memory with a determination to undertake a similar quest for wholeness, for ourselves and for the body politic.”
And, adds Paterson, “As we grieve his passing, I commend to you the following prayer, Remembering Mandela printed below.
For us, in our being, Mandela is gone:
We will no longer dance and march with him.
We will no longer hear him speak of justice, freedom, and peace.
For us, in our knowing, Mandela is changing:
He can no longer speak to us, but he can still be heard.
He can no longer touch us, but he can still be felt.
For us, in our thoughts, Mandela is alive:
We dance and march with him when we work for human dignity and rights.
We speak with him when we work for a world where one does not oppress another.
For us, in our actions, Mandela is here.
So as we journey with our siblings imprisoned by poverty, slavery,
and all forms of created suffering,
we will remember Mandela’s belief that we are all imprisoned until we are all free.
As we encounter forces of resistance that feel overwhelmingly insurmountable,
we will remember the integrity and grace with which Mandela held to his convictions while he was imprisoned for 27 years.
And as we give thanks to our Creator for the life of Mandela,
we will continue to pray for your comfort to surround the family, friends, and nation that mourn the loss of Madiba;
we will celebrate a life that perpetually worked for the good of all;
and we will affirm that his legacy will continue
in our memories and actions.
As we entrust him into your loving care,
may we commend him to our hearts.