Black History Month – February 28, 2021

Black History (or African Heritage) month began on February 1st. Officially recognized in Canada since 1996, Black History month has its origins in the 1920’s United States.

In the United Church of Canada we take time during this month to focus on the contributions and experiences of Black members of the Church. Stories from across the Church are being shared on the SPUC blog page throughout the month and I encourage you to watch or read them and to do some exploring on your own. Black history is Canadian history and it’s something we all need to learn more about.

On this last day of February, I invite you to join me in offering up the prayer below – a prayer of confession about racial justice.

Recommitting to Justice, Equity, and Peace


God of peace,

give us the courage, strength and perseverance needed,

to challenge the systems of racism,

so that we can clear a path for your justice, peace, and equity.


We believe racism is present

in our society and in our church,

and throughout time has manifested itself in many forms and in varying degrees.


We know racism is alive

in our language and in our structures,

and through our systems it actively works to deconstruct your glorious design,

blocking the path to justice, equity, and peace that Jesus brings.


Racism exists, and it challenges the gospel message that we cry.


We cry abundant life for all,

knowing that we are slowly being suffocated by the pervasive evil of racism:

some of us are choking;

some of us cannot breathe;

some of us are dead.


We cry peace,

knowing that we are the instruments of God’s peace

and that such peace cannot exist without justice, equity, compassion, and God’s grace.


We cry Emmanuel, God with us,

knowing that to God, every life matters—God is with all people—

even though as a community and as a society

we have stated through our actions that some lives matter more than others.


Compassionate One,

Help us to understand how racism finds life in our hearts and in our cries.

In this time of tense anticipation,

may we commit ourselves to be people of your way

crying and creating a path for justice, equity, and peace

for all people in this wilderness of hatred and racism.



—Alydia Smith