Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
A need for unity of purpose and a need to learn more about each other are reasons for praying together. Inter-denominational unity is not a realistic prospect at present. At our morning service on January 20 th Rev Iain McDonald reminded us how the United Reformed Church was formed from two denominations in the 1970’s and that then it was hoped the process would continue – with further unions replacing the “URC” with something else. It was not to be. When churches cooperate, much can be achieved. Exmouth’s “Open Door” Centre is a good example of how members of different denominations can work together on a project. Nevertheless most church activities are still organised “in house”.
The Week of Prayer events were well supported this year. The Sunday evening joint service was led by the minister of the Riverside Church and other clergy with worship songs led by the Riverside’s young and skilled music band. At the Holy Ghost Catholic Church and at Holy Trinity C of E 45 people attended the lunchtime meetings, with slightly smaller numbers elsewhere. Besides myself, 3 members of Glenorchy URC attended meetings at another church. The last lunchtime prayer meeting was held at Glenorchy and led by Geoff Smith. Thank you, Geoff, and all those who prepared and served the soup and bread lunch (with extras).
The theme to think and pray about this year was injustice of all kinds. We touched upon race, dictatorships, modern slavery, gender, workers’ rights, refugees etc. The Christian Church in Indonesia provided some of the ideas – including the idea that injustice is caused by divisions between groups of people. The question then arose “How can a Church that is itself divided be effective against injustice?”