Julia, and I have to give GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders) credit for making an e-card that also works for that. They have three others, too – they don’t really do it for me, but they have their points, and you can see and send them here.
Much more importantly, Byron Rushing reminds us that and why the the Episcopal Church's Collect for July 4th isn’t right – primarily, it forgets slavery – and gives us two better options.
Byron is the Vice President of the Episcopal Church’s House of Deputies, and a MA state Representative. I first met him when I was a high schooler in the early 90s and he was advocating for the Gay & Lesbian Student Rights Law (yes, it’s been updated since!). He has continued to be an amazing LGBT ally, including with the Trans Equal Rights Law and current trans rights bill – see more at Freedom Massachusetts. And he has been advocating for the bill to include height and weight in MA’s anti-discrimination law for years as well! #fatjustice
I saw it this via his Facebook post.
"My annual 4th of July collect e-mail:
Let me take this opportunity to remind Episcopalians in the United States that many of us do not consider the words--"the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us"--in the Independence Day collect
to be accurate. Look around your congregations and reflect if all the ancestors of the "us" got their liberty then.
Listen to the words of Collect (BCP, p.242) for Independence Day July 4th
Lord God Almighty, in whose Name the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us, and lit the torch of freedom for nations then unborn: Grant that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain our liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
This phrase is only possible because slavery was forgotten—or the “us” was not meant to include me.
A better and approved BCP collect for the 4th is "For the Nation" (p.258 or 207):
Lord God Almighty, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace: Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Also the Canadians’ Canada Day collect (July 1) also works for us in the USA and all the other countries in which TEC is.
whose wisdom and whose love are over all,
accept the prayers we offer for our nation.
Give integrity to its citizens and wisdom to those in authority,
that harmony and justice may be secured in obedience to your will;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.