Christians to mark 2023 week of prayer for unity

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is celebrated every year from 18-25 January in the Northern Hemisphere (or around the feast of Pentecost in the Southern Hemisphere). 

Resources are available through the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute, and Christians around the world engage in it and celebrate it.  Various traditions put aside this week to remember that our unity in Jesus Christ is a gift of the Holy Spirit to be received and celebrated. 

Each year materials are prepared by an ecumenical group of Christians in a particular region, centered on a scriptural text and theme. They outline the liturgy for a joint worship service and write brief scriptural reflections for each day of the week.  Participation in ecumenical gatherings during this special week within our contexts is an excellent way to make a visible witness of the unity of Christ’s followers.
The theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 2023 was chosen by the Minnesota Council of Churches.  The members of this group represented a diverse group of Christians who live in the city in which George Floyd was killed.  They were united in their desire to eradicate racism and oppression, and in their insistence that justice exists for all God’s people.
They took the theme from Isaiah 1:17a, “…learn to do good; seek justice…”).  As explained by one of the members of the design team, this theme “encapsulated the full range of our fears, longings, challenges, and hopes for God’s human family.”[i]
Every United Methodist annual conference is encouraged to participate with ecumenical services of prayer and worship as a statement of our belief we are “a part of the church universal, which is one Body in Christ” (Article IV of “The Constitution,” The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, 2016, ¶4, p. 26). 
Ideas for participating include:
  • Joining the UMEIT: Zoom gathering to be held on January 17 at noon eastern US time by contacting Laura Charles ( and requesting a registration link.  This monthly training will be dedicated to sharing in the liturgy of The Week of Prayer.
  • Using part of the litany during a Sunday morning worship service and teaching about the Week during that service,
  • Praying for the churches of the Middle East Council of Churches and other Christians around the world during the Pastoral Prayer on Sunday morning,
  • Organizing a joint online worship service with other local congregations in the area,
  • Writing letters of prayer and encouragement to those congregations,
  • Choosing a ministry project your congregation could do with those congregations,
  • Holding a study during the week about the Week and the year’s theme,
  • Writing letters to the editor of your local newspaper, and
  • Joining the services led by the World Council of Churches, the Methodist Ecumenical Offices in Rome and Jerusalem, and/or the Graymoor Institute.
For resources and more information, go to (for the World Council of Churches), or to (for the Graymoor Institute).