Churches Uniting in Christ Releases Resources for Watchnight 2020
Bishop Teresa Jefferson-Snorton, Chair of the Coordinating Council of Churches Uniting in Christ announces the release of new, ecumenical resources for the use of local congregations for this year’s Watchnight services.
Watchnight services are traditional services in historically Black churches that gather members in unity to welcome in the new year. Part of their history comes from the congregating of slaves on December 31, 1862 as they waited together for the Emancipation Proclamation to become law the next morning.
Resources to teach congregations about this history can be found on the Churches Uniting in Christ website: churchesuniting.org/teaching-and-preaching. There you will find a video by nationally-renowned scholar Dr. John W. Kinney on the history of Watchnight/Freedom’s Eve, a video sermon offered by United Methodist Bishop LaTrelle Easterling, an ecumenically-written litany, and several informational documents. Bishop Jefferson-Snorton, who is also the Ecumenical Officer for the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, encourages all local congregations in the United States to use any, or all, of these resources as they commemorate this year’s move from 2020 into 2021.
Churches Uniting in Christ (CUIC) was formed in 2002 as the former Consultation on Church Union (COCU) decided to stop “consulting” and start living their unity in Christ more fully. CUIC is now a covenant relationship among ten Christian communions that have pledged to live more closely together in expressing their unity in Christ and combating racism together. The member churches include: the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, The Episcopal Church, the International Council of Community Churches, the Moravian Church (Northern Province), the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Church of Christ and The United Methodist Church. For more information go to www.churchesuniting.org.