Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Friday January 15th 2010

Many parishes across Connor Diocese will be taking part in events to mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

The week runs from January 18-25 and is marked by churches worldwide.

The Annual Service for Christian Unity organised by the Belfast Cathedrals' Partnership which will be held in St Anne's Cathedral, Donegall Street, at 8pm on Tuesday January 19.

The Choirs of both Cathedrals will lead the praise. The order of service is that jointly prepared and published by the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches.

The theme for the service is "You are witnesses of these things", which reflects the theme of the Edinburgh Conference being held later this year.

This year the world church celebrates the Centenary of the World Missionary Conference, held in Edinburgh in 1910. Christians from all over the world will join in unity and explore different ways of Witnessing to Christ today.

In 1910 more than 1,200 Christians travelled from different parts of the world to the very Northwest of Europe. They gathered in the Scottish city of Edinburgh to explore and discuss perceptions and strategies of Evangelisation.

The 1910 World Missionary Conference made an incomparable impact on Christianity. It not only affirmed and renewed a commitment to mission, but also laid the foundation for the ecumenical movement.

One hundred years later we want to celebrate, commemorate and critically discuss the legacy of the 1910 World Missionary Conference.

In many ways, however, the celebrations will be different from the 1910 Conference.  Edinburgh 2010 is not just a single event centred in Scotland. It is a global study process and a series of events which are taking place in many locations around the world. Edinburgh 2010 is truly ecumenical and invites all Christian traditions and confessions to take part.

Christians from the North and from the South, men and women, younger and older generations, academics and non-academics are welcome to explore together what mission means for their region, their national and local church and for themselves.
At St Nicholas Parish Church, Lisburn Road, Belfast, the Roman Catholic Archbishop Cardinal Sean Brady will be the preacher on Sunday January 17.  The Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy will also be in attendance.  The service begins at 7pm.
The event is organised by ‘Faith Seeking Understanding’ group of churches: Windsor and McCracken Presbyterian, St Brigid's, Belfast South Methodist, St John's and St Nicholas'.  Other churches in the area have been invited to attend as well.  There will be a united choir.

Carnmoney Parish Church will be marking the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in a slightly different way this year by asking for lay representatives of the eight churches in the Glengormley Carnmoney area to experience the normal Sunday worship on January 24 in a different denomination. Anyone can participate but the parish is asking for five representatives of each church to be paired with another church in the group as 'official visitors' for that Sunday.

Carnmoney Parish has been paired with Glengormley Presbyterian Chrurch. The Rev Mercia Malcolm, vicar, said: “The local clergy felt this might give a more authentic experience of sharing across the traditions than gathering the same small faithful handful to a joint service.”

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