If you attend a Pensacola area Episcopal church, you might have noticed a recent addition to the Prayers of the People. Several churches have added the following prayer (or a similar one): "We pray for victims of terror and violence in the world, in our nation, and in our own community, especially: (list names here). Give us the will to daily work for peace. Amen." The names are those of victims who have died by violence in the Pensacola area during the previous month.
This addition to the prayers was presented to Pensacola clergy by the Pensacola Area chapter of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship. The chapter wanted to provide members of the diocese a way to pray specifically for victims of violence in their local communities. The EPF chapter does the necessary research each month and provides the names to area churches. The chapter believes in the power and purpose of prayer to oppose injustice and violence.
The idea for this practice came from the Diocese of Louisiana. In the New Orleans area, all Episcopal churches pray for those who have died by violence on a weekly basis.
To learn more about this prayer practice or the Episcopal Peace Fellowship in the Pensacola area, visit their Facebook Page, “Episcopal Peace Fellowship - Pensacola Area” or contact the chapter members at firstname.lastname@example.org.