Week of Prayer for Christian Unity - Ecumenical Worship Service, Jan. 22, 2017

Posted on February 2nd, 2017

​Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Ecumenical Worship Service – January 22, 2017
As we prepare to enter into this ecumenical worship service celebrating the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, it’s both my pleasure and privilege to bring greetings from the Edmonton & District Council of Churches (or EDCC for short).  The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity embraces what we, as a council, are all about and defines who we are. 
In our statement of purpose from our bylaws, the Edmonton & District Council of Churches is an association of Christian churches, organizations, and individuals which seeks to express the essential unity of the body of Christ through worship, fellowship, dialogue, cooperation, service, and prayer.
From the Canadian Council of Churches website: “The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is held from January 18 to 25, each year.  This eight day period (or “octave”)—first proposed by the Franciscan Fr. Paul Watson in 1908—begins with the feast of the confession of St. Peter and ends with the feast of the conversion of St. Paul.  By finding ways to pray together during this week, we join with all people around the world who are praying, reflecting, studying, and even eating and drinking together to celebrate and pray for Christian unity.”
This year’s theme is reconciliation and draws upon Paul’s Second letter to the Christians in Corinth.  It’s also very significant that, in marking 2017 as the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, our worship this evening will also be a doorway through which we might be brought into a deeper understanding of the ecumenical situation in Germany.
Therefore, my prayer for each of us this evening – and indeed for all Christians – is that we be compelled by the love of Christ.  Compelled to be reconcilers.  Compelled to break down the walls that divide.  Compelled to celebrate the grace and love of God.  Compelled to pray.  Compelled to proclaim the Gospel.  Compelled to further the kingdom of God.  Compelled to make disciples.  And compelled to live in Christian unity – that, as Jesus himself prayed, we may be one as he and the Father are one.  Amen.

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