Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of January 24, 2005
A solid foundation in Jesus
Local Christians gather to launch annual unity week
By BILL GLEN
WCR Staff Writer
Local Church leaders and 150 other Christians joined in worship Jan. 16 to express their united belief that Our Foundation is Jesus Christ.
That is the theme of this year's Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and the prayer service at Holy Trinity Anglican Church opened the local commemoration of Christian Unity Week.
The service included an expression of repentance where each person placed a stone on a cross as a symbolic gesture of their devotion to Christ.
During the opening prayer, Archbishop Thomas Collins expressed gratitude for Christ's presence.
"Living God, we give thanks to you for your great works among us. We thank you especially for Jesus Christ who, through his death on the cross and resurrection to new life, has saved us," he said.
During the homily, Very Rev. Greg Kerr-Wilson of the Anglican Diocese of Edmonton, compared the powerful rain and hail storm that struck Edmonton's west end in July 2004 to the readings by Evangelical Lutheran Bishop Steve Kristenson and Ukrainian Catholic Bishop Lawrence Huculak who said those who do not build on the foundation set by Christ will fail.
"I live in Rio Terrace where the rains fell, the floods came and the winds beat against the house. Thankfully it did not fall, but the floods found their way to the basement," Kerr-Wilson said.
"While it was not a catastrophe, it makes an interesting comparison with our readings today where we have the floods, but we also have the testing of God by fire."
Kerr-Wilson had to rip out drywall and insulation, down to the concrete. He needed to tear up carpets, renovate a bathroom and re-paint. He saw cracks in the foundation that required repairs.
"Foundations are so important in our lives because if they are right, we can build upon them as Paul reminds us in his letter to the Corinthians. We can take this and apply it to life."
Kerr-Wilson and his family agreed it was essential that the foundation was to be repaired, yet they differed in their individual preferences for carpet and paint colours.
He said this is like all Christians who believe in Jesus, yet feel they have differences.
"It is crucial to remember the Church is a household of faith. We share in common the love and life of Jesus Christ. Together we stand in witness stronger than we do alone.
"We have been given a foundation that is rock solid. We need to continue to discuss together, until we come to that one body in Christ where we truly are one in every respect," he said.
Major Lee Graves of the Salvation Army in Edmonton believes Christians must stand together particularly in these days of violence.
"We need to make Christ known in the world today; a message that seems at times might be compromised," he said.
"There is a longing for the Church to come together. We must set aside whatever distinctions or differences there might be and share and celebrate what we have in common."
Our Lady of Charity Sister Norma Johnson has been part of Unity Week planning committee for many years.
"We all share a common faith in Jesus Christ. The unity service reaffirms, as Christians, what he did for us in his life. It is the greatest gift Jesus could have given us - sacrificing his life on the cross," she said.
"We have to continue beyond the moment where we come together for this service. We should never forget the moments we pray together because our goal for the kingdom leads us to one path - through Jesus Christ."
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