Thousands of Christians—from Canadian Anglicans to Malaysian Pentecostals—will begin the new year by participating in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The 2010 week is slated for Jan. 18 to 25 and will focus on the theme “You are witnesses of these things” (Luke 24:48).
The 2010 resource, available for download, includes
- Biblical reflections and prayers for the eight days
- An outline for an ecumenical worship service
- A history and introduction to the Week of Prayer
Since 1968, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has been jointly coordinated by the Vatican and the World Council of Churches, of which the Anglican Church of Canada is a member. The organizers encourage churches to adapt the materials to their local context and to use the prayers at any time of year.
Each year churches from a different country are chosen to prepare the prayer materials, and the 2010 choice was Scotland. In June 2010, Scotland will host Edinburgh 2010, a major conference to mark the centenary of Edinburgh 1910, a landmark ecumenical conference on mission.
Representatives from Scottish churches chose the week’s theme—”You are witnesses of these things”—to coincide with the theme of Edinburgh 2010, “Witnessing to Christ today.” Members of Canadian churches, including the Anglican Church of Canada, will attend Edinburgh 2010.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity began in 1908, when an Episcopalian priest, the Rev. Paul Wattson, encouraged members of his religious order to pray for Christian unity. In 2008, the Canadian Council of Churches compiled a collection of prayers used throughout the movement in Liturgies for Christian Unity (Novalis 2008).
Interested in praying with other Christians during this special week? Contact your diocese to see what’s happening in your area, download the materials, order posters and kits from the Canadian Council of Churches, or join the Facebook group, hosted by the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism.
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