Much of KCC's legislative advocacy ministry is done in partnership with other groups working on the same issues.

We rely on the expertise and experience of these groups to resource us. In turn, we contribute to their advocacy efforts by communicating their events and activities, sharing their information, and standing with them in Frankfort.  As Rev. Dr. William Barber reminds us, we must stand together even if we do not agree on everything. We need a united moral voice in Frankfort and Washington.

Prayer in Action Days Kick-Off

The Kentucky Council of Churches is hosting Prayer in Action Days at the State Capitol during the 2019 General Assembly to pray for government officials and act on behalf of Kentucky’s most vulnerable citizens. The kick-off event will be Tuesday, January 8th at 11 a.m. in the Capitol Rotunda. Subsequent gatherings will begin at 9:30 a.m.

“The Prayer in Action events were very successful last year, and people have requested that we continue them in 2019,” said Rev. Dr. Don Gillett, Executive Director of the Council. “We will pray for our governor and legislators, and call them to a higher moral agenda that puts the well-being of Kentucky’s people first.” Each event will include prayer, education on issues, and a call to action. “We want to engage religious leaders and their congregants in direct justice advocacy.”

Each Prayer in Action event will focus on a different social issue like criminal justice, voting rights, tax reform, and gun violence. The Kentucky Council of Churches chooses the issues based on policy statements approved by all eleven of the Council’s denominational members. The membership includes Protestant and Roman Catholic congregations. The Council works with other state advocacy groups and coalitions on these issues, and many of them have committed to support the Prayer in Action Days.

All Prayer in Action events are interfaith and open to the public and media. For more information contact the Kentucky Council of Churches at KCC@kycouncilofchurches.org or call 859-269-7715.

Prayer In Action Days Schedule

Jan. 8: Kick-off, 11 a.m.at the Capitol Rotunda

The following sessions will be at 9:30 a.m. in the Capital Annex, room 171.

Feb. 5: 9:30 a.m., Tax Reform

Feb. 12: 9:30 a.m., Criminal Justice

Feb. 19: 9:30 a.m., Voting Rights

Feb. 26: 9:30 a.m., Gun Violence

March 5: 9:30 a.m., Death Penalty

March 12: 9:30 a.m., Environment

Litanies & Prayers

Litany from Prayer in Action on Immigrants and Refugees

We gather from many places, and different faith traditions.

Crossing borders, we encounter God. (English)

We gather young and old, men and women, documented and undocumented

Estamos cruzando fronteras, encontramos a Dios. (Spanish)

We gather to worship the God of all nations and peoples

Traversant les frontières, nous rencontrons Dieu. (French)

We gather in praise of the One whose love knows no borders

Nyebrang wates, urang sapatemon Allah. (Sudanese)

We gather to be strengthened as we work for justice and peace

Crossing borders, we encounter God.

Holy God, Empower people of faith across this nation to raise our voices not only in prayer, but also in protest against oppressive policies and heartless laws.

Lead us to be a state and a nation that finds our security in offering generous hospitality to all of your people.

We ask that you provide special protection for all families, particularly those who face hardships as they move in search of a better life. Show mercy to those who travel in danger, and lead them to a place of safety and peace. Comfort those who are alone and afraid because their families have been torn apart by violence and injustice.

We gather with the faith and the hope that one day the love we carry in our hearts will matter more than the documents we carry in our hands

And that one day the walls will come tumbling down, And all God’s people shall live together in peace!

Litany from Prayer in Action on Environment & Energy

Creator God, help us to be wise caretakers of the gifts you have given us. Help us to use energy in a way that benefits all people and treads lightly on your creation.

 Creator, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Compassionate God, we pray for those in Kentucky and the world who are most vulnerable to the effects of our unwise use of energy, that they may have safe homes, clean water and daily bread, and that you would grace them with your presence in times of crisis.

Creator, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of peace, we pray that the nations will work together peacefully to find solutions to our common energy needs, that we may avoid bitter conflict over limited energy sources. We pray that you will lift up land guide leaders in our state and nation toward clean energy solutions.

Creator, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Loving God, we pray for those who depend most on your gifts of energy for vital aspects of their daily lives, for the sick, the aging, the poor and the children. We pray for the most vulnerable who are being affected by climate change. We pray for those who depend directly and indirectly on the extractive energy industry for their livelihood. Help us to achieve a sustainable and just energy future that will benefit all your children.

Creator, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Holy God, we stand in awe of the wonders of your Creation. Help us to protect these wonders and find the energy we need from sources that do not tear down your mountains and poison your rivers. Reconcile us to your Creation and empower us to be your light to the world.

Creator, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Presbyterian participants

with Ruth Lowe

Ruth Lowe

speaking about her brother's death and her eventual willingness to turn away from anger and revenge to forgiveness


Prayer in Action on Death Penalty

A Prayer For Justice by Sister Helen Prejean

God of Compassion

You let your rain fall on the just and the unjust.
Expand and deepen our hearts
so that we may love as You love,
even those among us
who have caused the greatest pain by taking life.
For there is in our land a great cry for vengeance
as we fill up death row and kill the killers
in the name of justice, in the name of peace.
Jesus, our brother,
you suffered execution at the hands of the state
but you did not let hatred overcome you
Help us to reach out to victims of violence
so that our enduring love may help them heal.
Holy Spirit of God,
You strengthen us in the struggle for justice,
Help us to work tirelessly
for the abolition of state-sanctioned death
and to renew our society in its very heart
so that violence will be no more. Amen.

Prayer in Action Litany of Wholeness and Welcome 

Sheila Schuster

Advocacy Action Network gives info on bills related to healthcare

Let us pray for all God’s people. For people who are blind and cannot see, and for those who can see but are blind to people around them.

Lord, in your mercy help us touch each other.

For people who move slowly because of accident, illness, or disability, and for those who move too fast to be aware of the world in which they live,

Lord, in your mercy help us work together.

For people who are deaf and cannot hear, and for those who can hear but who ignore the cries of others,

Lord, in your mercy help us respond to each other.

For people who learn slowly, for people who learn in different ways, and for people who learn quickly and easily but often choose ignorance,

Lord, in your mercy help us grow in your wisdom.

For people who have chronic illness for which there is no known cure or relief, and for people who live in unholy fear of developing a chronic illness.

Lord, in your mercy help us and heal us.

For families, friends, and caregivers who serve people with disabilities, and for those who feel awkward in their presence,

Lord, in your mercy help us see each other with your eyes.

For people who think they are worthless and beyond your love, and for people who think they don’t need your love,

Lord, in your mercy help us accept your love.

For people who feel isolated by their disabilities, and for people who contribute to that sense of isolation,

Lord, in your mercy change our lives.

For people who feel powerless to change anything, and for people who have power and will not change,

Lord, in your mercy transform us.

For lawmakers and public officials who turn a death ear to the needs of the people, who put partisanship before compassion,

Lord, in your mercy soften their hearts.

For all the people in your creation, that we may learn to respect each other and learn how to live together in your peace,

Lord, in your mercy bind us together.

All: Amen.

Adapted from “That All May Worship: An Interfaith Welcome to People with Disabilities,” produced by The National Organization on Disability, 910 16th St. NW, Suite 600, Washington DC 20006, (202) 293-5960, written by Kate Chipps, adapted by Ginny Thornburgh.

Litany for Prayer in Action on Gun Violence Prevention

Giver of Life and Love, you created all people as one family and called us to live together in harmony and peace. Surround us with your love as we face the challenges and tragedies of gun violence.

For our dear ones, for our neighbors, for strangers and aliens, and those known to you alone, Loving God, Make us instruments of your peace.

God of Righteousness, you have given our leaders, the President, members of Congress, the judges of our courts and members of our legislatures, power and responsibility to protect us and to uphold our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

For all who bear such responsibility, for all who struggle to discern what is right in the face of powerful political forces, Loving God, Make us instruments of your peace.

God of Compassion, we give you thanks for first responders, for police officers, firefighters and EMTs, and all those whose duties bring them to the streets, the lobbies, the malls and the homes where the carnage of gun violence takes place day after day. Give them courage and sound judgment in the heat of the moment and grant them compassion for the victims.

For our brothers and sisters who risk their lives and their serenity as they rush to our aid, Loving God, Make us instruments of your peace.

Merciful God, bind up the wounds of all who suffer from gun violence, those maimed and disfigured, those left alone and grieving, and those who struggle to get through one more day. Bless them with your presence and help them find hope.

For all whose lives are forever marked by the scourge of gun violence, Loving God, Make us instruments of your peace.

God Who Remembers, may we not forget those who have died in the gun violence that we have allowed to become routine. Receive them into your heart and comfort us with your promise of eternal love and care.

For all who have died, those who die today, and those who will die tomorrow, Loving God, Make us instruments of your peace.

God of Justice, help us, your church, find our voice. Empower us to change this broken world and to protest the needless deaths caused by gun violence. Give us power to rise above our fear that nothing can be done and grant us the conviction to advocate for change.

For your dream of love and harmony, Loving God, Make us instruments of your peace.

Adapted from a Litany for Gun Violence Prevention written by the Rt. Rev. Stephen T. Lane, Episcopal bishop of Maine.

Litany for Prayer in Action on Justice Reform

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you. I know that the LORD maintains the cause of the needy and executes justice for the poor.

Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them;

Who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry.

Thus says the LORD: Maintain justice, and do what is right, for soon my salvation will come, and my deliverance be revealed.

Justice is turned back and righteousness stands at a distance; for truth stumbles in the public square and uprightness cannot enter.

For I, the LORD, love justice, I hate [your over-incarceration, your juvenile and criminal injustice systems, your unfair sentencing, and every kind of] wrongdoing; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.

Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

God has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to God day and night? Will God delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them.

Who will bring any charges against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.

2001 © African American Heritage Hymnal, adapted from Responsive Reading no. 28: Justice

Litany for Prayer in Action on Tax Reform

Participants of Prayer in Action on Tax Reform

Participants of Prayer in Action

on Tax Reform

We pray to You, O Almighty and Eternal God! Who hast revealed Your glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Your mercy that we, Your People of God, spread through the whole world, may continue with faith in confessing and praising Your Name.  Let us pray—God, hear our prayer.

Let the light of Your Divine wisdom direct the deliberations of our Kentucky State Government, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may preserve our peace; promote human solidarity; increase of industry and education; and bless us with equal freedom.  Let us pray—God, hear our prayer.

We pray for our governor, for the members of this legislative assembly, for all judges, magistrates, and other officers appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by Your powerful protection, to discharge their respective duties & positions with honesty and competence.    Let us pray—God, hear our prayer.

We recommend also to Your unbounded mercy, all our brothers & sisters and fellow citizens throughout Kentucky, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and the observance of Your Wisdom & Love; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal. Let us pray—God, hear our prayer.

In the Name of our God Whom we call by many names, we pray. Amen

LITANY For Prayer in Action on Voting Rights

Group gathered on January 24

to pray and act on voting rights

God of the marginalized, the unenfranchised, and the disenfranchised, we give thanks for the noble vision of a commonwealth where all community members have voice and vote; and we confess our complicity in a history that has fallen far short of that vision.

Lest we forget the long wait of women and African-Americans for the full rights of citizenship and the courageous sacrifices of those who made those rights a reality, inspire in us the resolveto keep on keeping on in that endeavor, to elevate always the image of God over a photo I.D.   So help us, God.

Lest we forget the hazards and prejudiced requirements that plagued people’s attempts to register to vote in the past and the procedural hurdles and unfounded allegations of fraud that they can still face in the present, instill in us a determination to make registration a birthright and not a bonus.  So help us, God.

Lest we forget the difficulties some people encounter in casting their ballots due to such strategies as closed polling places and biased eligibility requirements, give us noses for needless obstruction and voices for dissatisfaction with the problems people may face when “voting while black or brown or yellow.”  So help us, God.

Lest we forget that Kentucky’s disenfranchisement law is one of the harshest in the land and that the restoration of released felons’ voting rights has all but ground to halt here, steel us to persist in the push to restore voting rights to a large segment of released felons, as reflected in repeated actions of our Kentucky House of Representatives.  So help us, God.

Lest we forget that race and class continue to unbalance the scales of justice and that our system too often fails to focus on restorative justice, summon us to obey the prophetic call to both justice and mercy for prisoners and to urge our elected representatives to do the same.  So help us, God.

Litany for PRAYER IN ACTION on Responsible Lending

Today we cry out on behalf of those who are burdened with loans with excessive interest and appeal to our legislators to enact policies that ensure responsible lending.   Hear our cry, O God.

Usury is defined as excessive interest. Our sacred texts all speak against usury as an evil that should not be perpetuated among the people.  Hear our cry, O God.

We cry out so that our legislators will not be beholden to those who enact usury against the people, but will enact legislation that caps payday loan interest rates at 36 percent or less.   Hear our cry, O God.

It is our belief that usurious interest rates keep people trapped in a cycle of poverty, and that our legislators must look to their faith traditions that speak to them about caring for the poor and marginalized.  Hear our cry, O God.

We cry out that businesses that engage in these practices would recognize that successful community calls us put people before profits.  Hear our cry, O God.

It is our prayer that we remember that we are called to care for and advocate on behalf of those who are unable to speak for themselves. We pray that our legislators will remember the faith that they live and use it to effect the greater good in our Commonwealth for all its citizens.  Hear our cry, O God.

Participants in the January 10th PRAYER IN ACTION Day

focusing on Workers' Rights

Litany from PRAYER IN ACTION on Workers’ Rights/Fair Wage

We pray today for all those who are seeking employment, those facing a very difficult and uncertain future whether they are experiencing joblessness for the first time today or are among the millions of the long-term unemployed.   God of justice, hear our prayer

We pray today for those who are working in low-wage jobs yet remain trapped in poverty -- workers who need fair wages, respect and dignity in their workplace. God of justice, hear our prayer

We pray for children whose parents must work long hours in hard jobs just to afford shelter, food and clothing. And we pray for the moms, dads and family members who struggle with the difficult choice of working long hours and making long commutes, or spending more time with their children, to be able to tuck them into bed each night and see them off to school in the morning.   God of justice, hear our prayer

We pray for those who labor in the fields to provide us food each day.  For the farm workers who too often work beneath the hot sun without shade and in the deadly heat without water and who do not even make sufficient wages to buy the food they are harvesting.  God of justice, hear our prayer

We pray today for our brothers and sisters who work in the shadow of a broken and unjustand racist system – workers who face discrimination and exploitation and whose rights are too often denied through rejection, intimidation and threatened deportation.   God of justice, hear our prayer

We pray for all those who labor in restaurants and earn as little as $2.13 per hour – the ‘tipped wage’ which has not been raised in twenty-two years.   God of justice, hear our prayer

We pray for ethical employers who share fairly the earnings of their businesses with all their workers; we pray for those who pay living wages and provide benefits sufficient for workers to support themselves and their families.  God of justice, hear our prayer

We pray for those employers who have not yet learned to value their workers or recognize their inherent dignity. We pray for CEOs and managers who have hoarded riches and yet denied fair wages to their employees. We pray, God, that you might turn their hearts of stone into hearts of compassion.   God of justice, hear our prayer

We pray for the elected leaders of Kentucky that they might place our brothers and sisters struggling on the margins at the very center of their deliberations. We lament the actions of the General Assembly this past week. Forgive those who have voted for laws and policies that hurt working people. We pray that they will support policies that create good jobs with living wages.

We pray that you will turn the hearts of our elected officials. That they will reconsider their actions and that they will seek ways to better support Kentuckians; that there will be an increase the minimum wage so that no one will be forced to work full-time and still live in poverty.   God of justice, hear our prayer

And finally, we pray that we, members of faith communities, might use our voices and our resources to build a just economy: an economy of shared prosperity where workers earn living wages and all people live lives of dignity.  God of justice, hear our prayer.

God of Justice – we lift up all these prayers to you in the knowledge that you are already at work amid the brokenness of our economic system and that you invite each of us to be a part of your holy work of justice. God we offer to you these prayers today – both spoken aloud and those in our hearts – in the hope that together we might be the people you have called us to be, reflecting your compassion, mercy and justice in all that we do.  In your many holy names we pray – Amen.

(Adapted from http://www.ucc.org/justice_worker-justice_labor-sunday_worship-resources#workers)

Litany from PRAYER IN ACTION Kick-off, Jan. 3rd

Leader: God spoke through the prophet Zechariah: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’  (Zechariah 7:8-10) 

Today, we call on our elected officials to govern with justice, mercy and compassion.

People: Justice – Mercy – Compassion

Leader: In 1 John we read: “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

Today, we call on our elected officials to govern with truth and love for all Kentuckians.

People: Justice – Mercy – Compassion

Leader: The Buddha stated, “Just as a mother would protect her only child with her life, even so let one cultivate a boundless love towards all beings.” (Karaniya Metta Sutta)

Today, we call on our elected officials to protect the poor and vulnerable, and model cooperation and fairness.

People: Justice – Mercy – Compassion

Leader: Pope Francis said, “We must do much for the good of the poorest, the weak, and those who are suffering, to favor justice, promote reconciliation and build peace.” (http://www.voanews.com/a/pope-justice/1625457.html)

Today, we call on our elected officials, and all Kentuckians, to work on behalf of the poor and those who are suffering, to promote justice, reconciliation and peace.

People: Justice – Mercy – Compassion

Today, we gather to proclaim a new moral agenda. No longer will progressive people of faith stand by quietly while children are hungry and homeless, while people of color are targeted and mistreated, and while the poor and marginalized are ignored.

Today, we call on our elected officials to do what is right and just, to be guided by the faith they claim to hold dear, to put aside party loyalties and work for a better Kentucky. We call on people of the Commonwealth to come together to work for peace and equity, to love neighbor and welcome the stranger.

We will stand together for justice. We will not be silent, or take refuge in our homes and sanctuaries. We will pray for our elected leaders, and we will call them to a higher moral agenda.

What is required of us? Of you, of me, of our government? “To do justice, show mercy, and walk humbly with our God.”

People: Justice – Mercy – Compassion

              Justice – Mercy – Compassion


Approximate Schedule of Activities

10:15-10:30 Faith leaders and impacted persons meet at the circle on State Street (see map) where you will line up for the march. All others will gather on the front steps of the Capitol.

10:30-11:00 Faith leaders and impacted persons will march to the Capitol, around one time, then gather with supporters on the front steps of the Capitol.

11:00 Statement of purpose
Opening song
Higher Ground Moral Declaration and testimonies read
Responsive reading of litany
March around the Capitol two times.

11:50 Small delegation delivers Declaration to the Governor

12:00-12:15 Closing songs, prayer and remarks.

Prayers in Action_ Gun Violence-1.jpg
Prayers in Action_ Gun Violence-2.jpg