A Prayer for Black History Month (by Rev. Rashim Merriwether)
We thank you for your grace and your continued providential love for us.
Despite our frailties and failings as we wrestle with this human condition, your love never fails. And we are thankful, for your patience in loving us not as we want, but as we need. We acknowledge that your omniscient grace has continued to cover us as we learn to listen to your voice amongst the noisy backdrop of this world.
We ask your forgiveness for sins that have been committed toward you and our sisters and brothers. We humbly submit ourselves for inspection, and guidance knowing that it is in our submission and obedience we gain understanding, purpose and direction.
We ask that in these times of racial, social, economic and cultural disparity, you would help us renew our minds, mend our hearts, and transform our perceptions, to ease our anxiety and fears. Help us see the Christ in one other. To give value and affirmation to the narrative of racial, cultural and societal inequality. Help us remember that we are all called through one Christ;
Bound in love through one baptism:
As one body of Christ;
We drink of the same Spirit.
There is neither Jew or Gentile; slave or free; young or old; black or white;
We are all called by the same Spirit;
Into one body through Christ;
We have been given wisdom, and knowledge by the same Spirit;
We are given faith and gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
We are given the gifts of prophecy by the same Spirit
And all are given so that the body might operate as God intended;
Responsible to and for each other.
When one hurts we all suffer the trauma and collateral damage in brings to our soul;
Lord, as we celebrate Black History month, help us to see the humanness of our brothers and sisters and their place in the body of Christ.
Help us to make ourselves a Holy living sacrifice Prioritizing or responsibility to God, Christ and each other.
Let you transforming spirit take hold of our hearts and minds as we continue to wrestle with the sin of racism and all its forms.
Help us to navigate the process of healing and the responsibility by affirming and telling the real stories of our black and brown brothers and sisters;
So that we might become the body of Christ redeemed by his blood. Glorifying God in word, works and service to one another.
I pray this in the matchless name of Jesus. AMEN.
- History of Hymns: “Take Me to the Water”
“‘Take Me to the Water’ is a rare example of a spiritual explicitly devoted to the sacrament of baptism.” (Read more)
- History of Hymns: “Amen, Amen” (See the Baby)
“The well-known ‘Amen, Amen’ is a song with African American roots. Though most hymnals designate it as an African American spiritual, its history is more complex.” (Read more)
- Black History Quiz
“We invite you to take a short quiz about African American history in the U.S. and in The United Methodist Church.” (Read more)
- Worship Resources for Black History Month
Discipleship Ministries has provided a number of resources for use in worship during Black History Month. (Read more)
- United Methodist Women Black History Month Resources
United Methodist Women has a growing list of resources designed to learn more about Black History Month and racial justice. (Read more)
- Do’s and Don’ts of Black History Month
“[GCORR] reached out to pastors and worship leaders who are or have served mostly white congregations for advice…on why and how to introduce and incorporate Black History Month into their Christian worship, nurture, outreach, and witness.” (Read more)
- 29 Ways You Can Participate in Black History Month
“No matter your heritage, culture, or racial background, Black history is EVERYONE’s story. Here are 29 ways you, your family, and your congregation can celebrate and participate in Black History Month.” (Read more)
NOTE: Quotations on this page come from Discipleship Ministries (umcdiscipleship.org), United Methodist Communications (umcom.org), and the General Commission on Religion and Race (gcorr.org/r2hub.org).