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Anti-Racism Sunday Oct.15,2023

10 October 2023

Dear Friends in Ecumenism and Justice:

Sunday, October 15, is Anti-Racism Day in Ohio! The Council invites our participating judicatories and friends to highlight this day in your worship services. Below is a litany composed by Executive Director, Jack Sullivan, Jr. that you can use in worship. A video of the Council’s Anti-Racism service will be available later this week. It can be viewed on our website or our Facebook page

Litany for Anti-Racism Sunday

One: God of life, in your own image and likeness you have created all human beings of all times and in all places;

All: Racism is the power-driven, idolatrous, and intoxicating affection for one human skin color over others. Through recognizable and clandestine policies and practices, its adherents claim an exclusive right to assign God’s creative design to some while withholding it from others;

One: God of unconditional and transformative love, through your son Jesus Christ, you have established a path for humanity to be in loving, just, and mutually beneficial relationships with you and each other;

All: Racism boasts of a conditional and therefore distorted notion of love as it celebrates inhumanity and establishes transactional relationships where decision-making authority, social legitimacy, and access to services, wealth, and power are conferred as a birthright only on those with a certain skin pigmentation;

One: God of liberation, in Jesus Christ, you presented humanity with the gift of abundant life with a non-negotiable expectation for all to be free from bondage and to flourish;

All: Racism cancels lives and incarcerates bodies. It suppresses votes and denies aspirations. Racism attempts to erase histories and fosters mistrust while providing its users with scandalous anonymity from past transgressions and false sense of deniability with respect to responsibility for social change;

One: So, as people who try to live as followers of Jesus Christ and thus subscribe to the good news he both modeled and proclaimed, we categorically reject racism in all of its forms;

All: Today, we publicly declare that racism is sin. It is inconsistent with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is therefore incompatible with the faith we keep and the faith that keeps us;

One: We acknowledge the ongoing reality of racism in the world and confess its presence even in the church. However, our story does not end here;

All: Indeed, our story continues with our public commitment, here and now, to detect, disrupt, and dismantle racism by living more fully and visibly as agents of the life-giving, loving, and liberating power of God made known through Jesus Christ our Savior;

One: We will strengthen or form loving, just, and mutually beneficial relationships with a racially diverse array of people who we will come to know as our neighbors;

All: We refuse to pretend to be colorblind! Instead, we will acknowledge, learn from, and celebrate the reality, presence, and beauty of people whose skin colors, cultures, and perspectives are different than our own, for like all of humanity, they were created in the image and likeness of God;

One: Through these actions, we will live as partners with God for a more loving, just, and mutually beneficial future where racism will list no supporters and enjoy no sympathizers; and

All: With our newly formed band of neighbors, we will create a future where everybody can thrive, anybody can achieve, and nobody is dismissed because of the color of their skin. Amen

By The Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan, Jr.

Executive Director

The Ohio Council of Churches

October 2023

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