13 January 2022, The Tablet

Prayers and other resources published for Christian unity week

Prayers and other resources published for Christian unity week

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Jerusalem.

Materials for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity which begins 18 January have been published by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.

Resources for the annual initiative include an ecumenical prayer service, biblical reflections, and prayers for eight days.

Reflections explore how Christians are called to be a sign to the world of God bringing about unity.

For the first time, a Scots Gaelic version of the pamphlet is available to download together with English, Irish and bilingual Welsh and English. This year, the week features a strong strain of Eastern Christian spirituality, with key Gospel passages chosen by the Middle East Council of Churches on the theme of the story of the Magi, Matthew 2:1-12

“The Magi reveal to us the unity of all nations desired by God,” they say in their introduction, and they “travel from far-off countries, and represent diverse cultures, yet they are driven by the same hunger to see and know the newborn king.”

Christians from Lebanon, Syria and Egypt developed the resources with input from an international group representing the Catholic Church’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the World Council of Church’s Faith and Order Commission.

Events in the UK for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity include a webinar on 24 January organised by the Ecumenical and Interfaith Committee of the National Board of Catholic Women on “listening to the spirit within Christian communities”.

This aim is to give women the opportunity to hear the stories of women with different Christian backgrounds and to share their own experiences.

Speakers include Bible Society’s Fleur Dorrell, Methodist lay preacher Sarah Leeson and Anglican cleric Revd Claire Turner.

Online prayers for the week will be held by Churches Together in Cornwall, and then on Sunday 23 January the Cornwall Churches Environment Group will hold an online ecumenical service of prayer for the environment. Churches Together in Balham and Upper Tooting, South Hackney churches and the Kensington Council of Churches are among the London groups marking the week.

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