Today the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins

Today, January 18, marks the beginning of the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. In North America, it always begins on this date, when we celebrate the Confession of Peter, and the week ends on January 25 when we celebrate the Conversion of Paul. In between, on January 20, we remember the twentieth century martyr, Martin Luther King Jr.

This year’s theme is titled: “Is Christ divided?” It is based on 1 Corinthians 1:1-17, the apostle Paul’s appeal to the church at Corinth struggling with divisions. In his appeal, Paul urges the church to live in koinonia-translated into English as fellowship, but also can mean community/communion, and refer to a sense of unity. Of course for Paul, and for all Christians, unity is God’s gift of faithfulness vis-a-vis baptism and the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Our response and calling is to make visible unity a reality in the church and world; which is an ever and ongoing process under the leading of the Holy Spirit until such time as Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John chapter seventeen becomes a reality.

In the meantime, we take small steps of faith on the journey towards full unity. This year’s materials for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity have been prepared by a Canadian team comprised of participants from various denominations-sad to say, I don’t see any mention of Lutherans, and I wonder why? At any rate, if you follow this link to one of the pages on the World Council of Churches website, you will see a link there to a PDF document, click on it, and you can download it for either personal, parish or ecumenical services, prayers and devotions: http://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/wcc-commissions/faith-and-order-commission/xi-week-of-prayer-for-christian-unity/2014

ON ANOTHER MATTER, PLEASE NOTE: I am continuing to evaluate whether or not I am going to keep this blog active or shut it down, which means, as I stated in the previous post, I shall likely be posting only sporadically.

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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2011

Today, January 18, marks the beginning of Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This year the theme is based on Acts 2:42f.: “One in the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer.”  The initial work leading to the publication of this booklet was done by a group of Christian leaders from Jerusalem. They gathered at the invitation of the World Council of Churches. Their work was facilitated by the Jerusalem Inter-Church Centre. Unfortunately the city in which I live is not officially celebrating the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, but in previous years, I have enjoyed organising ecumenical services with other clergy. You can read more about this year’s background, theme, and a daily devotion, order of service, etc., here.

Southern Sudan and independence

Sudan continues to be plagued with tragedy, and forgotten by the Western world. Recently I came across this news article from Ecumenical News International concerning former general secretary of the World Council of Churches, the Rev. Samuel Kobia. In the article he does not appear to support the movement of Southern Sudan towards independence, which I think is likely the best option for them, as the world seems to care less about their plight, and the oppressive Northern-based Sudan regime continues its persecution of Christians in the South. It looks like the proposed referendum is facing obstacles. It would be the most desired method of attaining independence, if it is not manipulated or rigged. However, if it fails, then the political leaders seem determined to declare independence without a referendum. The latter may not be the best option, however it may be the only viable option in the face of all the others. You can read the whole article here.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Today, January 18, 2010 marks the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in the northern hemisphere nations. This year the theme is “You are witnesses of these things 2010,” based on Luke 24:48. It also marks the 100 anniversary of the World Mission Conference held in Edinburgh in 1910, which was one of the inspiring events of the early 20th century ecumenical movement.  

Do you participate personally in any Week of Prayer for Christian Unity event(s)? If so, would you share the information here?

Does your congregation/parish participate in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity? If so, would you share the information here?

Does your local ministerial association or other equivalent organisation participate in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity? If so, would you share the information here?

Here is a link to the World Council of Churches materials prepared for this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

 God’s blessings as you and/or your faith community prays for Christian unity this week!