For The Catholic Messenger
CLINTON — The Clinton Ministerial Association will hold its annual Service of Prayer for Christian Unity on Jan. 22 at 2 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church, 2100 N. 2nd St. The annual service is held during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which is Jan. 18-25 this year. “Reconciliation — The Love of Christ Compels Us” is the theme.
“When Jesus was accused of being in alliance with the devil but was able to cast out demons, he responded by saying that a kingdom divided by itself cannot stand,” said Father Robert Cloos, parochial vicar for Prince of Peace Parish and member of the Clinton Ministerial Association. “As Christians, we come together to promote human dignity. Let us not focus on our differences but on what we have in common to fulfill God’s call as children of God.”
With the 500th anniversary of the Reformation approaching, the focus of this week’s Prayer for Christian Unity has two aspects: reflection for the concerns of the churches marked by the Reformation and the pain caused by the divisions which afflicted the church. Unity through reconciliation is expressed in the central message of 2 Corinthians 5:15-20, “…everything has become new!” and God has given us the ministry of reconciliation.
“It is clearer and clearer that the church is one in Christ, thanks to decades of prayer and listening together across Christian denominations,” said Pastor Clark Olson-Smith of St. Paul Lutheran Church. “We have much to celebrate this year and much more to commit to do, to make known the reconciling love of Jesus.”
The interfaith group is using materials provided by the staff of Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute for the celebration in the United States of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Volunteers from area churches will participate in the prayer service. Lt. Stephanie Hartley, minister at the Salvation Army, will be the guest speaker.
“The prayer service promotes Christian unity and welcomes people of all faiths,” said Sister Nancy Miller, OSF, director of Franciscan spirituality for the Sisters of St. Francis Franciscan Peace Center, and member of the Clinton Ministerial Association.
All are encouraged to attend the event. For more information, call the Sisters of St. Francis at (563) 242-7611 or the Rev. Bob Hoffmann of Community Reformed at (563) 243-3434.