Posted on February 13th, 2013

"Lent is the most important time of the year to nurture our inner life.  It is the time during which we not only prepare ourselves to celebrate the mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus, but also the death and resurrection that constantly takes place within us.  Life is a continuing process of the death of the old and the familiar, and being reborn again into a new hope, a new trust and a new love.  The death and resurrection of Jesus therefore is not just an historical event that took place a long time ago, but an inner event that takes place in our own heart when we are willing to be attentive to it.  True repentance is an interior attitude in which we are willing to let go of everything that prevents us from growing into spiritual maturity, and there is hardly a moment in our lives in which we are not invited to detach ourselves from certain ways of thinking, ways of speaking, ways of acting, that for a long time gave us evergy, but that always again need to be renewed and recreated.
Lent offers a beautiful opportunity to discover the mystery of Christ within us.  It is a gentle but also demanding time.  It is a time of solitude but also community.  It is a time of listening to the voice within, but also a time of paying attentions to other people's needs.  It is a time to continuously make the passage to new inner life as well as to life with those around us.
When we live Lent attentively and gently, then Easter can truly be a celebration during which the full proclamation of the risen Christ will reverberate into the deepest place of our being."

Henri J.M. Nouwen, September 1996

by Julien Hammond on January 17th, 2013

January is a month in which Christians pay particular attention to the unity of the church. To be precise, Christians worldwide dedicate an entire week during the month to pray for unity among the followers of Jesus and especially to overcome historical and present divisions that exist between our church communities.

This year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is celebrated in Canada from January 20-27, 2013. The theme for the week is inspired by the well-known biblical text of Micah 6.8: What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

What God requires of us today is to walk the path of justice, mercy and humility, particularly in the service of those who are socially marginalized, politically under-represented, economically exploited and culturally subjugated.

Worship materials for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 2013 were prepared by a working group of ecumenical leaders from India and activities for the week are meant to have a distinctly Indian flavour. A resource kit to help plan activities for the Week of Prayer is available by clicking on the link.

It is our hope that your schedule will permit you to participate in or organize a prayer service, bible study, social action initiative or some other action to animate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in your local neighbourhood or community. Please contact us with your suggestions or ideas or to let us know of a happening in your area.

We pray for the day when it will truly be said of all who follow Our Lord, Jesus Christ, “They love one another as Jesus loves!”

by Julien Hammond on January 4th, 2013

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ:
Greetings to all and a Happy New Year! It is a pleasure to greet you again, now, in this traditional time of resolutions, optimism and hope. The EDCC executive and members join me in wishing you all many blessings and best wishes in the year of our Lord 2013. God bless all your many endeavours!
Julien Hammond
President, Edmonton & District Council of Churches

by Julien Hammond on December 11th, 2012

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

It is my privilege and joy to send you Christmas greetings on behalf of the Edmonton & District Council of Churches. The past year, 2012, was a time of extraordinary grace for us on the Council: a time of visioning and revisioning, of new beginnings and trusting in the Lord's ever-presence among us. Thank you for the overwhelming support of prayers and tangible gifts that will ensure our ability to move forward into the future. May this season of Advent be the occasion to prepare our hearts and minds for a new encounter with Christ in the year ahead.

Many, many blessings to you all!
United in the Christ child of Bethlehem,

Julien Hammond
President, Edmonton & District Council of Churches

by Julien Hammond on October 31st, 2012

Earlier this month, a number of churches in our community were vandalized for reasons we may never know. Such violent acts perpetrated against houses of worship are always reprehensible; they cause not only physical damage, but deep pain and concern among the worshippers of our communities who gather in these spaces to lift their praise to God and to commit their lives to ways of justice and peace. Abiding by the teaching of St. Paul in such matters – “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together with it” (1 Cor. 12.26-NRSV) – the members of our Council, who represent many of the communities affected, share this same pain and concern. We join with our sisters and brothers in denouncing these acts of violence, we express our sadness about them and we pray that those who choose the way of violence over peace may soon see the error of their ways and turn their lives over to a more life-giving path.

by Julien Hammond on August 15th, 2012

On behalf of the Edmonton and District Council of Churches, I wish to express our sympathy to the Sikh community of Edmonton in light of the recent tragic attack on the Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.   We are appalled at the mindless savagery of this assault upon people at worship in a tradition that emphasizes peace and hospitality as yours does.  We continue to uphold in our thoughts the survivors and all who mourn, praying that they may find peace and consolation in their belief in God, in the love of family and friends, and in the respect and solidarity of their neighbours in other traditions.


Uniting our prayers to your own,

Julien Hammond, President

Edmonton and District Council of Churches

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