Opening Prayer


You are the source of human dignity, and it is in your image that we are created.

Pour out on us the spirit of love and compassion.

Enable us to reverence each person, to reach out to anyone in need,

            to value and appreciate those who differ from us,

            to share the resources of our nation,

            to receive the gifts offered to us by people from other cultures.

Grant that we may always promote the justice and acceptance

            that ensures lasting peace and racial harmony.

Help us to remember that we are one world and one family. Amen.

Song Sarennam, Sarennam


Scripture Reading: John 4:1-42

A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come back.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”

27 Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you want?” or, “Why are you speaking with her?” 28 Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, 29 “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?” 30 They left the city and were on their way to him.

31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, “Rabbi, eat something.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33 So the disciples said to one another, “Surely no one has brought him something to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. 35 Do you not say, ‘Four months more, then comes the harvest’? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. 36 The reaper is already receiving[f] wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37 For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labour. Others have laboured, and you have entered into their labour.”

39 Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I have ever done.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Saviour of the world.”

Prayers of Confession

O Lord, forgive us. You created each one of us in your image (Genesis 1:27), and each person represents you here on earth. You also taught us that we will be judged by you, based on whether we see you in the other, and respect and care for the other, especially those who are in need and those who are excluded (Matthew 25: 31- 46). But we disrespect you and look the other way, when you are being exploited and discriminated, in the form of racism. O Lord, forgive us.

Kyrie-eleison (Lord have mercy)

O Lord, forgive us. You clearly commanded us to be Holy, as you are holy (Leviticus 11:44, Leviticus 19:2, 1 Peter 1:16). But being racist and by tolerating the continuing blemish of racism today, and by perpetuating suffering and injustice, we continue to be unholy and we undermine your reign, here and now. O Lord, forgive us.

Kyrie-eleison (Lord have mercy)

O Lord, forgive us. You taught us that ‘there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus’. (Galatians 3:28). You also revealed to us that ‘if one person suffers, all suffer together; and if one person is honoured, all rejoice together’ (1 Corinthians 12:26). But because of racism, one part of the body, claims not to feel the pain of the other part of the same body. O Lord, forgive us.

Kyrie-eleison (Lord have mercy)

O Lord, forgive us. Our sense of justice is informed by you, our Creator God. You are loving, kind, merciful, righteous, holy, and all your ways are just (Deuteronomy 32:4). ‘Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you’. (Psalm 89:14). But even as we claim to be followers of your son, Lord Jesus Christ, by being racist ourselves or by not overcoming racism, we perpetuate injustice and evil. O Lord, forgive us.

Kyrie-eleison (Lord have mercy)


We go on our way remembering the words of Jesus to us:

            “because I live, you also will live.

We go affirming that as Jesus was in the Father,

            and the Father in him, so too are we in Jesus and he in us through the presence of the Holy Spirit. Amen


WCC will share regional prayers in lead-up to UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination