February 8, 2024
A couple of weeks ago, the General Assembly Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations (GACEIR) met via Zoom for our winter meeting. In addition to working to review our work on actions referred to us from GA225, we spent time in worship and devotion. On Thursday, we remembered the church’s commitment to stand in solidarity with our siblings who are experiencing violence by wearing black. We invite you to join us each Thursday to stand with and pray for the end of violence in all areas of our lives.
Violence is so prevalent in our daily experience. Consider your favorite TV show, music, movie, sport or game, or reports of mass shootings and gun violence. They all numb us and make us think of violence as okay or normal. What if we, in our daily lives, loved others like God in Christ loves them? Would we turn a blind eye to the violence and injustice we know is happening around us? What if we lived in a world that did not tolerate violence? What if the church stood as a voice against violence? What if you did?
Thursdays in Black is a global movement for a world without rape and violence. It began as a result of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Decade of Churches in Solidarity with Women from 1988–98. Wearing black in this campaign is used as a color of resistance and resilience, rather than the historical negative connotations we have been taught.
In 2021, WCC produced a Thursdays in Black Bible Study Series to help individuals and congregations reflect on sexual and gender-based violence. The reflections are designed to help us listen to the word of God and to discern how to apply our faith and vision of justice, peace and love to the ever-increasing violent world we live in.
It is our work to make more visible the tragic reality of violence and to facilitate alternative ways to handle life’s circumstances. This study series and other resources are available to you.
Resources and stories that highlight this important work can he found here.
As we participate in this work together, let us make the Thursdays in Black Pledge:
I commit to Thursdays in Black.
In solidarity, in protest, in mourning, for awareness and in hope
By supporting Thursdays in Black I stand:
– In solidarity with 1 in 3 women worldwide who face violence in their lives
– In protest against systems and societies that encourage violence in any form
– In mourning for men, women and children who are harmed and killed in sexual violence
– For awareness and knowledge about the challenges of sexual and gender-based violence.
– In the hope that a different reality is possible.
Dianna Wright, Director of Ecumenical Relations, Office of the General Assembly
Today’s Focus: Thursdays in Black
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Teresa Bidart, Bilingual Mission Specialist, Self-Development of People, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Ricky Blade, Customer Service Consultant, Communications Ministry, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Let us pray
Loving God, pour out your love and compassion upon us, that by the power of your spirit, we may bring an end to the violence and hatred we bring to bear on each other. Amen.
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