Deacon Greg Bobbit
The ecumenical initiatives to mark this Pentecost weekend are truly stunning, and even Pope Francis is in on the gig with the Holy Spirit! Today's technology is giving fresh expression to the Holy Spirit moving throughout the entire world, literally and virtually. Below is a listing of events worth our time and attention. I encourage you to take in some of the following worship services and share this list with any of your own interested friends:
A Canadian-wide ecumenical Zoom Pentecost service featuring ten national church leaders airing tomorrow/Saturday May 30 at 1:00pm SK time. For more information on how to register, go to:
A fresh Pentecost expression of our Canadian full communion between Anglicans and Lutherans will air on Sunday May 31 at 2:00pm SK:
Pope Francis will take part in his first-ever online ecumenical prayer service with the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby on Sunday May 31, airing at 9:00am UK timezone, so this can be watched anytime for us in Canada on Pentecost Sunday. The following websites give some background to this ground-breaking event and where the service can be streamed from:
Lord, send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity - January 19-26, 2020
They Showed Us Unusual Kindness (Acts 28:2)
The international resources for the 2020 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity have been prepared by the Christian churches of Malta and Gozo. The 2020 theme, “They showed us unusual kindness” (Acts 28:2), remembers the historic shipwreck of Paul on the island of Malta and calls us to a greater generosity to those in need. As an island nation, boats are an important part of Maltese life. The Scripture reading in this service describes a perilous sea voyage by the Apostle Paul. A boat is also symbolic of the sometimes tempestuous journey Christians make together towards unity.
We encourage you to observe this Week of Prayer keeping a specific focus on Christ's prayer "that all may be one... so that the world may believe" (John 17:21). Whether we gather together joint services or in our own churches, in prayer groups or individually, let our prayer be for the unity that Christ wills, as Christ wills.
The resources are available at https://www.weekofprayer.ca in both English and French. In addition to the international resources, there are additional Canadian materials:
Tips for Organizing an Ecumenical Service
Worship Service (editable Word version)
Eastern-rite Worship Service (editable Word version)
Week of Prayer Celebration in Schools
Questions for Bible Study
Poster (PDF version)
You will also find helpful resources in numerous languages at https://ecumenism.net/wpcu/
Adapting the text
This material is offered with the understanding that, whenever possible, it will be adapted for use in local situations. Account should be taken of local liturgical and devotional practice, and of the whole social and cultural context. Such adaptation should ideally take place ecumenically. In some places ecumenical structures are already set up for adapting the material; in other places, we hope that the need to adapt it will be a stimulus to creating such structures.
Using the Week of Prayer material
For churches and Christian communities which observe the Week of Prayer together through a single common service, an order for an ecumenical worship service is provided.
Churches and Christian communities may also incorporate material from the Week of Prayer into their own services. Prayers from the ecumenical worship service, the “eight days”, and the selection of additional prayers can be used as appropriate in their own setting.
Communities which observe the Week of Prayer in their worship for each day during the week may draw material for these services from the “eight days”.
Those wishing to undertake bible studies on the Week of Prayer theme can use as a basis the biblical texts and reflections given in the eight days. Each day the discussions can lead to a closing period of intercessory prayer.
Those who wish to pray privately may find the material helpful for focusing their prayer intentions. They can be mindful that they are in communion with others praying all around the world for the greater visible unity of Christ’s Church.
Together in Christ -
An Ecumenical Study for Lutherans, Roman Catholics, and other denominations
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) have developed joint material entitled Together in Christ — Lutherans and Catholics Commemorating the Reformation, to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. The process of developing these resources has been an occasion of dialogue and of a deepening…