Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of January 29, 2007
Prayers for voiceless at centre of event for Christian Unity
Churches united in their call for service
- WCR photo by Bill Glen
Dozens of prayers for the less fortunate are placed on a wooden cross to give voice to the voiceless at the annual service for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
By BILL GLEN
WCR Staff Writer
There were prayers for the homeless, the hungry and those who suffer with domestic violence. They prayed for world peace. Others asked for an end to human trafficking, child labour and racism.
Many of the 200 people who gathered Jan. 21 for the annual Prayer for Christian Unity service gave a voice to the voiceless by writing their prayers on yellow notes before placing them on a large wooden cross.
More than a dozen representatives of the Edmonton and District Council of Churches, including chaplains from the RCMP and Edmonton Police Services, took part in the 90-minute prayer service held at the Salvation Army Edmonton Temple on 75th Street.
Call to service
Pallottine Father George Neumann, pastor of Good Shepherd Parish, represented the Roman Catholic Church.
The call to service in the name of social justice, was the prevalent theme during the event that attempts to bring local churches one step closer to unity.
"We are all called to service," said Jason Guy, associate pastor of the Salvation Army temple. "Tonight, there is a united Church."
Guy said the evening's focus was on how the Church comes together through Christ, helping to bring issues such as poverty, justice and peace before him.
Christian unity can help to stop the escalating problem of street violence in young people, Guy said.
"These people are looking for honest people and, as Christians, they want us to share with them. They don't necessarily want the Gospel preached to them. But they want us to show the love of Christ."
In an interview, Neumann said churches want justice and equality. People who have been more successful in life must work for and reach out to others.
"We all belong to the human family. We have to stand up for all of our brothers and sisters," he said.
The Rev. Cliff Guebert, a Lutheran, is president of the Edmonton and District Council of Churches.
The Christian Unity Week service was a symbolic event, Guebert said. "But it was symbolism that I really appreciate.
"People are willing to think other denominations are not the enemy. In the past, there was great suspicion if you weren't of a certain denomination. We have something in common being our faith in Jesus," he said.
"We might as well celebrate that and use it as a stepping stone to do some ministry in the community."