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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity  “We saw the star in the East, and we came to worship Him.”                   

The annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins, Wednesday, January 18.  The theme chosen for 2023 is,  “Abide in my love...you shall bear much fruit.” ( John 15:1-7)  It was the theme in 2021 but since our churches didn’t meet that year because of Covid,  we are using the theme and materials from that year. Our nation has seen so much division in recent times, so the prayer for unity needs to touch not only our faith communities, but also our families, our country, and our world.                                                          

The last two years the churches of Union Springs have not gathered in daily prayer and reflection sessions in observance of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, after doing so for over forty years.  Last year, there was a Celebration of the Word Prayer Service on the Sunday of the week.  This year an abbreviated schedule  will be offered.  On Wednesday, January 18 , there will be a gathering at the Seventh Day Adventist  Church, at 2:00 p.m. The Scripture readings for that gathering are John 15:16a; Genesis 12:1-4: and John 1:35-51.  Pastor Hall will lead the prayer and reflection session. On Sunday, January 22, at the Trinity United Church of Christ, on Main Street, Union Springs, there will be a dish –to- pass meal at 6:00 p.m., followed by a 7:00pm service that I will be leading.  Prayer and reflection readings for that day are John15:3; Deuteronomy 30:11-20 and Mathew 5:1-12.  On Monday, January 23 at 2:00 p.m., there will be a third session at St. Michael Church led by Henry MacDonald.  The readings for prayer and reflection that day are John 15:16b; Genesis 18:1-5.  All parishioners are invited to participate.  If you cannot make the gathering, please pray for unity that we may all be one in God ‘s love.  Please bring a Bible with you to the prayer and reflection sessions. Also, a Daily Scripture and Prayer Guide for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will be available in our churches. You are encouraged to use them at home for personal prayer during the week or to gather as a family or with friends at home to prayerfully reflect throughout the week.

Tomorrow, January 16th, we honor Martin Luther King, Jr., a man who devoted his life to bring about equality by peaceful means and to stop the injustices experienced by persons of color in our society. May we pray for the necessary changes needed in our minds and  hearts, as well as in the laws and systems in our society that facilitate discrimination and injustice.                                                                                                               God Blessings and peace, Father Bill