Annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

"My peace I give to you" (Jn. 14: 23-31)

From January 18 - 24, 2004, Christians around the world will once again observe the "Week of Prayer for Christian Unity." It is a time for Christians of every denomination to gather together in order to reflect on those things which bind them together as members of the Body of Christ.

This year's theme, which is always based on scripture, is "My peace I give to you," taken from the Gospel of St. John, chapter 14, verses 23-31. They are the words of the Risen Christ, as he greets his disciples upon entering into their presence. The words remind us that if Christ is truly present in our midst, then there can only be peace - if we are sincerely listening to his voice and obeying his commands. If we do not have peace among ourselves and with others, then there is something lacking in the extent to which we allow Jesus to enter into our midst and live and move among us.

It is most appropriate that we ponder the topic of peace at this time, after a year which has seen the absence of peace in many parts of the world. As we observe the "Week of Prayer" in the United States and elsewhere across the globe, we cannot forget that in so many cities, towns and countrysides, there is a lack of peace between people. Even while efforts are being made to ensure greater peace and safety for all peoples and on various levels, it is clear that the need for peace is felt greater than ever.

It is all the more alarming, when the lack of peace is caused by issues of religion and faith-related matters, when most all creeds and belief-systems teach the need for peace and harmony among humankind, despite differences in dogma or the way that God is approached. Worse still, are those all too frequent instances when Christians themselves fail to promote peace between churches and families, and the cross becomes not the symbol of peace and reconciliation for which Christ died upon it, but of hatred, self-righteousness and division. Certainly, it is not the way in which Jesus envisioned his followers to behave and for this, we must all demonstrate sincere remorse and the intention to change this situation.

Below are some links to information in observing the "Week of Prayer for Christian Unity" that may be helpful in remembering this important time. Our prayer is that the ideals expressed in our annual observance of those things we share in common as Christian believers may carry over into everyday life throughout the year and lend themselves to a greater sense of peace between all those who profess Christ as Lord and Savior, and likewise, among all men and women of the world, who are created in the image and likeness of God.

UAOC Website Page for 2003 "Week of Prayer."

Brief History of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Prayers for use during the Week of Prayer.

Musical Resources.

Background and Worship Resources.

WCC Resources in Various Languages.

World Council of Churches Website Main Page.

From the UAOC-Sobornopravna
Office of Ecumenical & Inter-Religious Affairs

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