Today we begin the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. In the Gospel of John, Christ prays that his followers “may all be one,” as he and the Father are one, “so that the world may believe” and have life in his name (John 17). The long and often painful history of Christianity has sundered our churches for theological, liturgical, and political reasons. Many Christians now strive to heal these divisions, yet honour our diversity, through ecumenical dialogue, common action, and relationship-building. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is both the seed and the fruit of this striving for ‘unity in diversity’.
The 2022 theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, “We saw the star in the East, and we came to worship him” (Mt 2:2), was prepared by the Middle East Council of Churches, based in Beirut, Lebanon. This theme speaks to our world’s urgent need for solidarity and transformation in the face of political, economic, and social turmoil, including the challenges and injustices highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As we join the Christians of the Middle East in the journey to Christ’s manger, may we become a sign of the unity that God desires for all creation, and may we return to our home, our churches, and our world by new ways.
Events at St. Francis:
We invite you to join us for an online Prayer and Music Service created by the Ecumenical Churches of Forest Hill. The service will be available on our parish website beginning on Sunday January 23rd. The service will include scripture, prayer and music contributions from St. Stephen’s Lutheran, Highland Baptist, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic, Forest Hill United, Calvin Presbyterian, St. George’s of Forest Hill Anglican, and promises to be a faith-filled experience for all.