Churches celebrate unity week

By on March 1, 2003

Anglicans around the world celebrated the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Jan. 18-25, in a variety of colourful ways.

In the U.S., two teams of Episcopalians joined representatives of other Christian denominations at an interdenominational seminary on the campus of a Baptist university in Birmingham, Ala.

The ministry task force of Churches Uniting in Christ held its January meeting at Beeson Divinity School on the Samford University campus. Preceding the meeting, representatives of the Episcopal and Presbyterian churches held another session in a continuing dialogue.

In London, Bishop Nathan Hovhannisian, primate of the Armenian Church of Great Britain and Pontifical Legate, preached at St. Margaret’s church, saying that one of “the practical benefits of unity” is to speak as one “on issues of justice and peace for the long-suffering peoples of the world.”

In Jerusalem, a week-long series of prayer and worship services took place at St. George’s Cathedral. “Being a minority in a time of real difficulties, it seems the differences start to fade away,” said Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal, bishop of the Episcopal diocese of Jerusalem. Ecumenical co-operation is particularly important in Jerusalem, said Rev. Shemun Can, a Syrian Orthodox priest at St. Mark’s monastery, noting that it is a bad witness for churches to fight in the holy city.

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