Dec. 14, 2004
|A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose
The Rev. Larry D. Pickens prays during a worship service at the United Methodist Church's 2004 General Conference in Pittsburgh.
By United Methodist News Service
NEW YORK (UMNS) – United Methodists are invited to join with Christians around the world in a week of prayer for peace.
United Methodist Church’s top ecumenical officials are encouraging
congregations to set aside Jan. 18-25 to participate in the annual Week
of Prayer for Christian Unity.
William B. Oden, ecumenical officer for the denomination’s Council of
Bishops, and the Rev. Larry D. Pickens, top executive of the churchwide
Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, sent a letter
to bishops and other church leaders asking them to encourage
participation in this annual observance.
more than 90 years, Christians have set aside time for prayer and
reflection on their unity in Christ," Oden said. "We encourage United
Methodists to join in this important celebration and observance."
theme for the 2005 observance is "All Things are Yours … You Belong in
Christ … and Christ, the Unique Foundation, Belongs to God," reflecting
Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 3:1-23.
is a foundational way for Christians to join together to promote
peace," Pickens said. "Christians across the world will come together in
celebration of our unity in Christ."
United Methodist Church has historically been involved with Graymoor
Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute in promoting this week of
prayer. The annual week of prayer began in the Episcopal Church in 1908.
Each year, the theme
and texts are prepared by an international group appointed by the Faith
and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches and the Pontifical
Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The churches in Slovakia
prepared this year’s materials. Churches in Slovakia survived four
decades of a political system that allowed them to exist but hindered
their growth. Since then, the churches have experienced more than a
decade of renewal and emergence.
Bishop William B. Oden
resources to assist congregations and ecumenical organizations in
planning and celebrating the Week of Prayer are available from the
Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute of New York City at www.geii.org.
include bulletin and pulpit announcements, suggestions for Scripture
references, and tools for communicating messages about the Week of
Prayer in local communities.
News media contact: Kathy L. Gilbert, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The letter sent by Bishop William Oden and the Rev. Larry Pickens follows:
Dec. 14, 2004
All United Methodists are encouraged to observe the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, on January 18th – 25th.
across the world will come together in celebration of our unity in
Christ and United Methodists are a central part of this celebration.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was initiated in 1908. It has
evolved through the years into a major ecumenical observance.
theme for 2005 is, "All Things are Yours… You Belong to Christ… and
Christ, the Unique Foundation, Belongs to God." 1 Corinthians 3:1-23
Materials can be ordered from the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute. The website is www.geii.org. These materials can be downloaded without charge.
Let the unity in Christ be made more visible through this very special week.
Yours In Christ,
Larry D. Pickens, General Secretary
The General Commission on Christian Unity & Interreligious Concerns
Bishop William B. Oden, Ecumenical Officer
Council of Bishops