As shared by the World Council of Churches:
At least once a year, Christians are reminded of Jesus’ prayer for his disciples that “they may be one so that the world may believe” (see John 17.21). Hearts are touched and Christians come together to pray for their unity. Congregations and parishes all over the world exchange preachers or arrange special ecumenical celebrations and prayer services. The event that touches off this special experience is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Traditionally the week of prayer is celebrated between 18-25 January, between the feasts of St Peter and St Paul. In the southern hemisphere, where January is a vacation time, churches often find other days to celebrate it, for example around Pentecost, which is also a symbolic date for unity.
Resources for this week-long event can be found on the WCC website.
Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC
by Father Martin Yabroff, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
This is a special week within the Christian faith as Christians around the world celebrate Holy Week, a time of reflection on Jesus’ last week before his Crucifixion and Resurrection. Today also marks the beginning of the Jewish celebration of Passover for the next eight days. Both are a time to reflect on that which is holy and powerful and mysterious in our lives and world.
At St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church all our communities will be welcome to the annual Community Good Friday Service, co-sponsored by 13 neighboring churches: Assemblies of God, Baptist, Church of God in Christ, Disciples, Episcopal, Foursquare, Lutheran, Methodist, and Presbyterian. It is a blessing to have such a range of congregations worship together! The one-hour service will bring a range of voices together to lead us in reflecting and praying about our witness as persons of faith in a time of darkness – the darkness of a good and holy man being crucified for his faith and love, and the darkness of our world of cruelty and hate and distrust today.
All are welcome, for any religious tradition or spiritual path as these churches express their faith in an open and inviting and respectful way, a witness I believe we need today. You can find more information about the service online.
I would like to share a description of Holy Week from my teacher, the Rev. Herbert O’Driscoll: Holy Week is “a pilgrimage, a sequential majestic journey into the most profound levels of divine and human nature, taking us into a place of profound darkness before bringing us into halls of almost inexpressible resurrection light.”
May this be a time for all God’s people of peace and blessing. Amen.
You are invited to First Church of Christ, Scientist’s Thanksgiving Day service. Join them for a bible lesson and hear expressions of gratitude. Child care is available.