Week of Prayer for Christian Unity - Trinity Lutheran Church letter

Posted on February 6th, 2017

​Good evening, brothers and sisters in Christ.  My name is Faith Nostbakken and I am the ecumenical officer for the northern area of our Synod of Alberta and the Territories for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.  Our synodical bishop, Rev. Dr. Larry Kochendorfer, is away on sabbatical. On his behalf and on behalf of the synod I welcome all of you here this evening from many different faith communities to worship and pray together in this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  We express our gratitude as a synod to Pastor Ingrid and Trinity Lutheran for hosting us tonight.
Each year the World Council of Churches focuses on a particular geographical region and a specific theme for this week that emphasizes Christian Unity.  Because this year, 2017, marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the World Council of Churches determined that Germany would be the natural regional focus, the birth place of Martin Luther and the Reformation movement. The Council also identified two thematic accents: a celebration of God’s love and grace, “the justification of humanity through grace alone” which reflected the main concern of the churches marked by Martin Luther’s Reformation, and secondly, the pain of subsequent deep divisions which have afflicted the worldwide Church, openly naming the guilt and offering steps towards reconciliation. Thus the scriptural focus this evening and this week is 2 Corinthians 5:14-20, thematically stated, “Reconciliation –The Love of Christ Compels Us.” An ecumenical council of churches in Germany has prepared the worship materials which are being used across the globe this week. (You will note a symbolic gesture of the desire and action toward reconciliation as part of the thematic focus of the service tonight is the building of a wall that then is dismantled and turned into the cross, the emblem and source of our reconciliation in Christ). 
Thank you to all of you for coming and participating in this evening.  May we hold together the desire and prayer of our Lord that all may be one as a single, universal witness to the world.

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