Next week is the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity, or the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The week of prayer begins this Sunday January 18th The feast of St. Peter and ends on Sunday the 25th the Feast of St Paul. The theme for this years observance is from Ezekiel 37:15-19, 22-24a “That they may become one in your hand”. I encourage us to take the time to pray for Christian Unity in our daily prayers and to meditate on the Ezekiel passage over the course of the week. As a congregation with an ecumenical vision and actuality although in the past we have failed to give a great deal of emphasis to this but I believe that this could be an important aspect of living out our vision. A way to remind ourselves why we gather each Sunday as those from a variety of denominational backgrounds and journeys. Reminding ourselves why we join in regular worship with Immanuel Lutheran Church and St Elias Christian Church. We do these things because we are seeking and praying for the unity of the Church
This years theme and resource materials were prepared by Christians in Korea, who not only face the divisions between Christians but the division between North and South Korea, and the loss and hostility on both sides that has remained since the Korean War. Christians in Korea see the prayer for Christian unity to not stop only at creed or denominational divisions but the political and ideological divisions as well as of wealth and class. I encourage each of us during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity to also take time to reflect how Reconciler can deepen its ecumenical calling and reflect on what Christian unity may mean for us. We too in this country and this city of Chicago face various divisions that are also divisions between Christians: race, ethnicity, class etc. In this week we are praying for reconciliation and seeking to repent of all ways we praying for forgiveness for the scandal of our disunity and our inability to be ambassadors of reconciliation in the world. What paths of personal and ecclesial conversion must we take to arrive at full communion in Christ?
If you would like a guide for your prayers and mediation over the week the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute has resources that can be going here . The Graymoor Institutes website also has an explanation of the theme of this years Week of Prayer for Christian Unity as well as a brief history of the Week of Payer. Do take the time to read some of this.
Tomorrow, Thursday January 15 we have a congregational meeting at the Nidge, 7:30 pm. If you consider Reconciler your church home or attend Reconciler on a some what regular basis, you are encouraged to come and join in reflecting on how God is at work and leading Reconciler.
This Sunday, January 18th begins the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
We now have childcare and a Children's Sunday School program during our 5 pm service. Spread the word!
Wednesday Evenings on the Immanuel Campus:
Community meal 6 pm members of Immanuel, the Community of the Holy Trinity and Reconciler join with the youth who take part in Immanuel's after school program for a meal together.
Following the meal at 7 pm there is a prayer service. For January and February it will be a service of Lectio Devina (prayerful reading and discussion of Scripture for the coming Sunday) During Lent there will be a sung Vespers service.