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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

[From Canon Maria Tjeltveit]

Friends,
 
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is fast approaching (January 18-25). Clergy received order forms for items related to this year’s theme, “Has Christ been divided?”  If you did not get around to ordering anything, you can still get materials from the Graymore Institute: http://www.geii.org/week_of_prayer_for_christian_unity/theme_announcement_2014.html   This week’s theme is from Canada (and the part of 1 Corinthians that we read the following Sunday, Jan. 26).  If you want to see a visually striking interpretation of the theme, check out the website of the Churches Together of Britain and Ireland: http://www.ctbi.org.uk/657
 
Here are some Week of Prayer events and things you may want to know about and participate in.
 
This Sunday, January 12, at 11:00 a.m., the Nazareth Ministerium  had their ecumenical service at the Nazareth Intermediate School. The Rev. Canon Anne Kitch was the preacher.
 
For those of you in the Lehigh Valley, the Lehigh County Conference of Churches will have their Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Service on Sunday, January 19, at 4:00 p.m., at Calvary Baptist Church, 4601 Tilghman Street, Allentown. This is the Conference’s 60th anniversary year.
 
For those of you up in the Scranton area, there will be a Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Service, at 12:10 p.m., on Friday, January 24, at St. Peter’s Cathedral, 315 Wyoming Avenue, Scranton. I will be the preacher. This is a wonderful service that is an outgrowth of the Christian Communities Gathering of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
 
In anticipation of that service, I was taped talking about the service, Christian Unity, and other issues. Here’s how you can view it:
 
Air dates and times for “Our Faith…Our Diocese”:
 
CTV: CATHOLIC TELEVISION update           
“OUR FAITH…OUR DIOCESE”
#88, January, 2014
(length: 1 hour) AIR TIMES
1
Sunday, January 12, 5:00 pm, Premier
2
Tuesday. January 14, 8:00 pm
 
3
Wednesday. January 15, 10:00 am
 
4
Thursday, January 23, 11:00 am
 
5
Friday , January 24, 9:00 pm
 
6
Monday, January 27, 2:00 pm
 
You can also view the program at:
     http://www.dioceseofscranton.org/media/catholic-television-ctv/
 
It looks like you have to wait until it is aired on Sunday to watch it on the website.
 
If people have other Week of Prayer for Christian Unity events, that they want to share, I hope you will post it on Bakery.
 
Maria

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Here’s information you can use or send to your congregation if they want to engage in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity:
 
If you would like Meditations for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, (an octave that begins Saturday, January 18) here are two good options:
You can download a pdf or word file for a booklet from Churches Together in Britain and Ireland at: http://www.ctbi.org.uk/657   (You will need to scroll down the page. The Word document downloads more easily.)
You can go to the Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute site for on line daily reflections:  http://www.geii.org/week_of_prayer_for_christian_unity/prayer_worship/daily_scripture_and_prayer_guide.html

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If you are not involved in an ecumenical service for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity this Sunday, you can still incorporate parts of the suggested service. I just modified their prayers (based on the Millennium Development Goals) by adding a final collect.  If you haven’t finished planning your service, feel free to include these.
 

INTERCESSORY PRAYERS

(following the themes of the United Nation’s eight Millennium Development Goals)

L: We pray for all people who suffer day to day in poverty and hunger. Their precarious state often causes divisions; may Christ’s love restore justice and peace. Gracious God, hear our prayer,
A: And in your love, answer.

L: We pray for all those striving for universal education. May their thirst for knowledge build bridges between our churches and restore respect in our differences. Gracious God, hear our prayer,
A: And in your love, answer.

L: We pray for those striving for equal dignity and rights of all people. May the image of God be honored in all women and men. We remember especially the need for equal access to jobs, goods and services. As we become one in Christ Jesus, may we fully receive the gifts of both men and women. Gracious God, hear our prayer,
A: And in your love, answer.

L: We pray for the young who are sick and those who seek to improve child health. As we take care of children, may we welcome Jesus himself. Gracious God, hear our prayer,
A: And in your love, answer.

L: We pray for women who bear children, and for their maternal health. May we take care of these mothers who carry new life and whose love for their children reminds us of God’s uniting love for us. Gracious God, hear our prayer,
A: And in your love, answer.

L: We pray for those who combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. May we hear the voices of those denied a life of dignity, and work to create a world in which all people are respected and cared for, and where no one is excluded. Gracious God, hear our prayer,
A: And in your love, answer.

L: We pray for all who suffer the consequences of the poor stewardship of creation, and for all endangered species. Guide us to environmental sustainability so we can be reconciled with creation. Gracious God, hear our prayer,
A: And in your love, answer.

L: We pray for those who practice international solidarity and global partnership. As we favor a fair trade of goods and we cancel debt in the poorest countries, may we also strive for justice. Gracious God, hear our prayer,
A: And in your love, answer.

Celebrant: Gracious God, you call your Church to work for reconciliation among all people and to build up the kingdom of God on earth. Unite us in our faith and our commitment to serve your people and the world you have made. Empower us with your Holy Spirit as we work together so that all may know your love through your Son Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.


See the website for more ideas: http://www.geii.org/week_of_prayer_for_christian_unity/prayer_worship/ecumenical_celebration.html

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