«That all may be one» (Jn. 17,21)
We were born for these words, for unity, to give a contribution to its realization in the world. Chiara Lubich
|Publications and Media|
|Websites in the world|
|New City Press|
|Prayer For Christian Unity - Truly an Ecumenical Evening|
|Written by Tom Masters - Chicago|
|Friday, February 19, 2010|
Communities in Chicago, Indianapolis, Columbus (OH), as well as small groups in Madison and Appleton (WI) hosted evenings of Prayer for Christian Unity on January 22, part of the "Worldwide Week of Prayer for Christian Unity." The gatherings were marked by the deep joy in being together and warm sense of family typical of the Focolare.
After a potluck dinner at the Chicago Mariapolis Center, 120 individuals representing at least 11 different churches gathered for prayer and reflection. Sr. Joan McGuire, director of ecumenism and interreligious dialogue for the Archdiocese of Chicago, brought greetings from Cardinal George; Greek Orthodox Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos read the gospel; and reflections were offered by Rev. Aren Jebejian of the Armenian Orthodox Church and Rev. Dr. Sherman Hicks, executive director of Multicultural Ministries for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
The Columbus community worked together with their local parish, St. Peter’s, whose Charismatic Renewal, RCIA and Hispanic ministry joined with them to pray for Christian unity. The guest speaker, Rev. Tim Ahrens of the First Congregational United Church of Christ, concluded his remarks to the 92 who attended by saying, “It is very difficult to get people of different churches together in a harmonious way, but the Focolare does it very well.”
In Indianapolis Dr. Rev. Paul Crow from the Disciples of Christ Church, internationally recognized for his work in ecumenism, delivered the keynote address. Rev. Michael Wilson, a Baptist minister who serves as chaplain at Methodist Hospital and for the U.S. Army, offered a reflection on the gospel reading.
The effectiveness of the evening was reflected in the experience of one couple who were attending a Focolare event for the first time. She, a Lutheran and he, a Catholic, were encouraged in their own relationship to see something being done to bring different churches together.
In addition to shared prayer and reflection, each of the evenings included experiences and music. The lyrics of one of the songs attested to the possibility of unity that these celebrations made real: "We are many parts, but we are all one body".