Racial justice at forefront of this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Published on 18 January 2023 2 minutes read
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity kicks off today (Wednesday 18 January) on the theme of racial justice, as churches around the world join the event aiming to strengthen the ecumenical ties between denominations and encourage a sense of mutual support.
The annual prayer initiative, which was first initiated in 1908 and is coordinated by the World Council of Churches, is traditionally observed from 18-25 January.
Rev John McPake, the Church of Scotland's ecumenical officer, said:
"The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is grounded in the prayer of Jesus; ‘that they may all be one…that the world may believe'. (John 17: 21)
"At this time, we are invited to live out our response to that prayer in company with Christians in the place where we live and across the world we share."
This year's 2023 resources have been created by the churches of Minneapolis, exploring how the work of Christian unity can contribute to the promotion of racial justice across all levels of society.
The resources aim to encourage Christians to join together to open our hearts to see and hear the many ways in which racism continues to destroy lives, and to discern the steps we can take as individuals and communities to heal the hurts and build a better future for everyone.
Prayer for Christian Unity
You made us, God,
in Your own image,
and then became one of us,
proud of those you have made.
Make us proud of being part of that worldwide family,
and eager to discover and celebrate Your image
in every person, every culture, every nation,
that we are privileged to encounter.
Download this year's resources
The brand new booklet, specially tailored for UK use by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI)'s writers' group, is available in English, bilingual Welsh/English, Irish and Scots Gaelic, and in large-print editions.
There are also editable posters and Powerpoint presentation templates, as well as five videos and transcripts featuring stories and testimonies from Black and Asian Christians who pioneered racial justice in their churches and society over the last 25 years.
Within the booklet, the CTBI writers' group focusses our attention on the 30th anniversary of the racist killing of Black teenager, Stephen Lawrence, which is marked on 22 April 2023.
The work of restoring hope through justice undertaken in Stephen's memory continues to inspire and change lives for the better.
Stephen's memory will also be remembered on Racial Justice Sunday on 12 February. As with last year, the resources for Racial Justice Sunday include contributions from Kirk minister Rev Mandy Ralph and worship development worker Phill Mellstrom.
Support the 2023 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Show your support for Christian Unity by posting unity messages and details of your events to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Twitter wall – simply add the #wpcuwall hashtag to your Twitter post.