RACISM. PRAY. ACT. EDUCATE. CARE. LOVE.
As a Church we recognise the unrest throughout the world following the inhumane treatment and deeper devaluing of black lives in the World. We understand when there is injustice and frustration there follows protest, it is natural and right to have empathy for our fellow man. Dr. Martin Luther King said “Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere” and is a rallying call for us all as Christians to speak up, prompted by recent tragic events.
As a church community, we mourn the recent devastating deaths, we grieve knowing that these unjust murders are not isolated events and that there are countless other untold incidents of racial injustice throughout the world. Each of us is afflicted by a unique pain and we realize that some continue to face injustices that some will never have to confront. We lament and cry out to God.
We are committed to loving like Jesus, praying for the end of bigotry and standing for justice.
Father God, Loving and forgiving God, we come to you today recognising that in matters of ethnicity we have no choice – we are who we have been made to be. Before you we rejoice at our diversity, and our hearts lift at your great vision of a worshipping multitude gathered from every nation, tribe, people and language. But nonetheless we recognise that our present reality is very far from this ideal. We know that this is not the world as you would have it be, but it is our world, and it has been our experience.
No one chose their skin colour, no one chose to be born the heir of oppression, no one asked to inherit power or powerlessness.
So before you, and in the name of Jesus Christ who loves all people equally, regardless of ethnicity, gender or social status, we come now to recommit ourselves to your vision of the world.
We come now to pray ‘your kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven’, and to offer ourselves once to live out your coming kingdom of equality and justice in our lives, in our churches, and in our communities.
We confess our failures to speak out against injustice. We confess those times when, as individuals and as churches, we have witnessed the fracturing of humanity along ethnic grounds, and yet have remained silent. We confess those times when we have been the powerful ones and have chosen to withhold that power whilst another human suffered.
We confess the sin of racist exclusion, the abuse of power to oppress and demean. May those of us who have ourselves experienced exclusion be the first to speak up for others. May we create spaces for reconciliation.
We pray for our churches. May they become places of reconciliation, where each human soul is valued, and where equality in Christ is a reality in our midst. Forgive us those times where we do not live out our calling as your people. May our churches model the new humanity of Christ to those in the communities where we live.
We pray for our communities. Where there is division, may we bring restoration. Where there is inequality may we bring justice. Where there is powerlessness may we lift up the broken hearted. Where there is damage may we bring healing.
Loving and forgiving God, hear our confession, hear the desires of our hearts to be different, grant us your forgiveness, and remake us according to the likeness of Christ.