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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: January 18 – 25, 2022
Every year, during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Christian communities and churches join together to pray for the visible unity of the Church, according to the will of Christ who prayed on the eve of his suffering and death “that they may all be one… so that the world may believe” (John 17:21). Prayer for Christian unity is a sharing in the prayer of Jesus who desires his disciples to share the Good News of God’s love in every time and place.
Our customary way of marking the Week of Prayer here in Winnipeg with a City-Wide Ecumenical Service and other services throughout the week has been curtailed again this year due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, we are still invited to practice a heightened “spiritual ecumenism” during this annual weeklong observance, even if the form of our public and private praying for unity must be adapted to the circumstances in which we find ourselves.
As we pray for the unity of Christians this year, we do this with the theme and resources prepared by the Middle East Council of Churches. The texts are inspired by the visit of the Magi to the new-born King, as described in the Gospel according to Saint Matthew: “We saw the star in the East, and we came to worship him.” The Christians of the Middle East offer this theme and resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity conscious that the world shares many of the travails and difficulties that they experience, and yearns for a light to lead the way to the Saviour who can overcome darkness. The COVID-19 global pandemic, the ensuing economic crisis, and the failure of political, economic and social structures to protect the weakest and most vulnerable, have underlined the global need for a light to shine in the darkness. The star that shone in the east, the Middle East, two thousand years ago still calls us to the manger, to where Christ is born. It draws us to where the Spirit of God is alive and active, to the reality of our baptism, and to the transformation of our hearts.
Let us join together spiritually and look to the future with faith and hope. We pray that greater unity among Christians in the Middle East and around the world may contribute to a more dignified, just and peaceful life for all men and women in our time and in the times to come. Whether privately, online virtually, in our local congregations, and/or in our domestic churches with family members, let us find appropriate ways to participate in this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Unfortunately, due to current health protocols and other challenges being encountered by some of our usual local participants, we are not able to hold a Winnipeg Livestream Celebration like last year. Nevertheless, we encourage Christians here in the Winnipeg area to check out Week of Prayer resources and connect with events being held in other communities across the country. WEEK OF PRAYER RESOURCES AND EVENT LISTINGS are available online at www.weekofprayer.ca
8-DAY ONLINE WPCU BIBLE STUDY SERIES (by Zoom and livestream on YouTube) presented by The Prairie Centre for Ecumenism and The Regina Council of Churches. Tuesday, January 18th to Tuesday, January 25th. 12:15 pm – 1:00 pm CST daily except 3:00 pm CST on Sunday, January 23rd. The 2022 WPCU theme – “We saw the star in the East, and we came to worship him” (Mt 2:2) – is developed through a series of daily reflections. Each day will be led by a different denominational leader. Register for Zoom Bible studies: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEkdeGhrzgtEtd2wehNGffCCV1v3D_2PfZ6
or watch the livestream on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm4iVOfS5McBeaxmeFB5t6g.
For further details, contact Cathryn Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LIVESTREAM SERVICE from Saint Gregory’s Armenian Apostolic Church, Outremont, QC will be held on Sunday, January 23rd at 3:00 pm EST (2:00 pm CST). En direct sur le Facebook de l’Église arménienne et du Centre canadien d’œcumenisme | Livestream on the Facebook of the Armenian Church and the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism:
LIVESTREAM SERVICE from Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church, Scarborough, ON will be held on Sunday, January 23rd at 4:00 pm EST (3:00 pm CST). Livestream on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TorontoArmenianChurch/
Preacher: The Rev. Archpriest Fr. Zareh Zargarian. Organized by the Greater Toronto Area Council of Churches. For more information, contact Ani Sarvarian at Holy Trinity Armenian Church. Contact details: www.torontoarmenianchurch.com