Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Week of Christian Unity

Information Sheet: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2017

Experience: Joy in discovering the Lord who is present in all Christians, making us brothers and sisters.
Evangelization: We lift up Jesus, and He draws all to himself- and draws us closer to Him. That is how we are drawn closer together.

World-Wide Theme: Reconciliation:“The Love of Christ Compels Us” (2 Cor. 5:14-20) – To Reconcile and To Witness

Origin: The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has existed for a century and is present worldwide.  UniteBoston is coordinating a week-long series of events, of which this is the Saturday component hosted by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, assisted by the Institute for Christian Unity and co-sponsored by over twenty ministries.  This is the first time that the full spectrum of Christian families (Catholic, Evangelical, Eastern Orthodox, Pentecostal, Oriental Orthodox, Mainline, Black Churches, Asian Churches) in the region will gather specifically in dedication to the unity Jesus prayed for (John 17:21).

Jan 21 Event Purpose: Create an Anchor Event for a Week of Prayer for Christian Unity that:
·      Enlivens individual relationships with God,
·      Builds bonds among Christians,
·      Bears fruit in service and testimony for the Greater Boston area, and
·      Starts an ongoing prayer cycle drawing on the whole People of God to pray for unity and evangelization- “that the world may believe.” 

Schedule
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO COME TO ALL OR PART OF THIS EVENT:
12:00 Luncheon (Free for Youth/Young Adults)
12:45 Workshops on Christian Unity And—
--Evangelization; --Worldwide Persecution; --Interchurch Families; --Racial Reconciliation; --500th Anniversary of the Reformation; --Experiencing Jesus in Each Other; --Life Discernment; --Scripture/Theology; --Spiritual Life
(1:40 pm Clergy vest for Liturgy of the Word. Vesting in lower church to process into upper church. Vestment color is white. Alb and stole, or whatever is appropriate vestment for your tradition.)
2:00 pm Worship and Blessing Service for the Worldwide Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: “Closer to God, Closer to Each Other”
Orthodox, Protestant, Evangelical, Catholic, Pentecostal Leaders
3:00 pm Mission and Volunteering Opportunity Fair and Reception

Location and Parking: Saturday January 21, Holy Name Parish, 1689 Centre St. West Roxbury, MA 02132. 617-325-4865. Bellevue on the Commuter Rail; Forest Hills 38 Wren St to Centre on the T. Ample parking available.

Media Contact: Timothy McGuirk, 857-225-1537, mcguirkt@rcab.org
Contact: Vito_Nicastro@rcab.org 617-435-0019; Many Thanks to Bishop Arthur Kennedy, Ph.D., Director, Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, R.C. Archdiocese of Boston

Themes: Closer to Jesus, Closer to Each Other; Stronger Witness/Love we are compelled to share; Solidarity with the persecuted church/Ecumenism of Blood; Diversity in the Body and Racial Reconciliation; On the 500th Reconciliation; Youth, Service and Mission; Interchurch Families; Worldwide Connection; Prayer; Gratitude for Witness together (E.g. Q4)

“Discord among Christians is the greatest obstacle to Evangelization.” – Pope Francis, March 24, 2014

Only full unity between us is enough. Only full unity is true to the nature of the Triune God as one, as love, as communion.  Only full unity obeys the will of Jesus, and therefore loves Him. Only full unity is the goal set by our churches’ teachings. Only full unity honors the bond of our Baptism and eternal relation in Christ. Only full unity is coherent with the message of the Gospel of reconciliation. Only full unity empowers our compassion and unfetters our evangelization.


Partners: UniteBoston, Institute for Christian Unity, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, Black Ministerial Alliance, Glory of God in New England/Glory of God on Cape Cod, Emmanuel Gospel Center, Congregación León de Judá, The Paulist Center, Grace Chapel, Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston, Community of Sant’Egidio, Lord’s Day Alliance, InterVarsity New England, Massachusetts Council of Churches, Massachusetts Family Institute, Coptic Orthodox Diocese of New England, Park Street Church, E-NetNewEngland, Focolare, Alpha New England, Armenian Churches of Watertown, COPANHI- Fellowship of Latino Pastors of New England,

Intended Ongoing Fruitfulness: This is not a one-time event. This is a catalyst event, designed to ignite something ongoing within one of the widest and oldest prayer movements on earth. January 21, together with the whole week-long series in Boston, aims to:
·      Lift up the name of Jesus,
·      Show the diversity in the Body of Christ;
·      Speak a united word of joyful witness to the City;
·      Show love for our community;
·      Start an ongoing annual gathering of the whole Body of Christ, to be ministered to by God, experience their relationship with Jesus and how it bonds each of us to all the others, hear how we can witness to the world, and channel that into mission and service;
·      Bless and mobilize InterChurch families;
·      Advance racial reconciliation;
·      Help ignite an ongoing prayer from the whole People of God for unity and evangelization- “That they may be one...so that the world may believe.”- John 17:21 
·      Increase Evangelization;
·      Bring new people and youth to know and participate in the partner organizations;
·      Create lasting connections between campus ministries and Christian unity ministries,
·      Ignite an ongoing prayer movement which knits the Body of Christ in New England together more closely and also gives a boost each year to ongoing work for Christian unity in all these areas.
·      Support and connect to the persecuted church
·      Give content to the commemoration of the 500 years since the Reformation

DO WE WANT THAT TO HAPPEN?  If so...

·         Kindly let us know approximately how many people you will bring- Please RSVP to https://www.facebook.com/events/1819327351612594/
·         Would your church like to co-sponsor?
·         If you are bringing more than ten people, would you like to set up a table to introduce yourselves to the wider Christian community and have people sign up to support your efforts? Bring tablecover, pamphlets, literature, sign, food, drink as you wish.
·         Would you like to support the resources for the event?
·         Would you like to send volunteers for one of the Ministry Teams: Prayer Support, Publicity, Campus Liasons, Logistics, Workshops, Welcoming, Worship and Music, InterChurch Families?
·         Would you like to have people in national garb in the entrance procession (Procession Seating)?
·         Names of clergy processing?(Clergy Seating)
(1:30 pm Clergy vest for Liturgy of the Word. Vesting in lower church to process into upper church. Vestment color is white. Alb and stole, or whatever is appropriate vestment for your tradition.)



Other Events in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity:
·       Wed Jan 18: 7pm at River of Life Church, 440 Centre Street, Boston MA 02130
·       Jamaica Plain Churches, including River of Life Church, Heart Change Fellowship, Bethel AME Church, and the Community of St. Egidio
·       Thurs Jan 19: 7pm at St. Mary Orthodox Church, 8 Inman Street, Cambridge MA 02139
·       Orthodox Churches, including the Coptic Orthodox Church of Boston and St. Mary’s Orthodox Church
·       Fri Jan 20: 7pm at Congregation Lion of Judah, 20 Reed Street, Boston MA 02128
·       Pabellon de la Fe Church, Congregation Lion of Judah, and churches involved with Bless the City Boston
·       Sat Jan 21: 12 to 4pm at Holy Name Church, 1689 Centre Street, West Roxbury MA 02132
·       Theme: “The Love of Christ Compels Us: To Witness and to Reconcile” Joint Ecumenical Gathering, hosted by the Archdiocese of Boston and many local partners – Facebook event link
·       Sun Jan 22: 8pm at MIT Chapel, 48 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge MA 02139
·       Taize prayer in the MIT Chapel, including MIT Lutheran/Episcopal Ministry
·       Mon Jan 23: 7pm at Symphony Church, 971 Commonwealth Ave (3rd floor), Boston MA 02215
·       Brookline/Brighton churches, including Symphony Church, City Church, and Abundant Grace Church
·       Tues Jan 24: 7pm at the Paulist Center, 5 Park Street, Boston MA 02108
·       Catholic/Lutheran joint gathering, including the Paulist Center and University Lutheran
·       Wed Jan 25: 5:45pm at Trinity Church, 206 Clarendon Street, Boston MA 02116
·       Episcopal Boston/Cambridge Mission Hub gathering, including Trinity Church, Church of the Advent, and others


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