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Week of Prayer Focuses on Racial Justice

Tuesday December 10 2023


The 2023 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which begins on January 18, focuses on the promotion of racial justice.

Each year the theme of the Week of Prayer, now 118 years old, is guided by Christians from a different part of the world, although designed to be adaptable to local contexts.

This year has been prepared by the churches of Minneapolis, Minnesota - the US city where the murder of George Floyd by a police officer triggered an outpouring of protest in 2020.

In the UK, where materials are put together by Churches Together Britain and Ireland (with input from the Church of Scotland), the writers’ group has also focused its attention on the 30th anniversary of the murder of Stephen Lawrence.

The starting point for the theme is Isaiah 1:17: ‘Do good; seek justice’ and materials for use through the week explore how the work of Christian unity can contribute to the promotion of racial justice. Go and Do action points are suggested by Christian Aid.

The Church’s Ecumenical Officer, the Rev Dr John McPake, 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.”

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which began in 1908, traditionally takes place between January 18 and 25 (known as the Octave of St Peter and St Paul as the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches celebrate the Feasts of those saints on those respective dates). However some churches, particularly in the southern hemisphere, observe it at Pentecost or some other time.

The CTBI materials are available in English, Welsh and Scottish Gaelic at https://ctbi.org.uk/week-of-prayer-for-christian-unity-2023/ 

The World Council of Churches also has resources for the Week of Prayer at https://www.oikoumene.org/resources/documents/resources-for-the-week-of-prayer-for-christian-unity-2023 


 


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