Reconciliation in the midst of brokenness is the practical theme which thousands of Australia’s Christians are seeking to explore here, and with others across the world, as part of this year’s global Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (WPCU).
The theme for the 2009 WPCU has been developed by Korean churches, choosing Ezekiel 37:15-28 and the prayer that “they shall be one in my hand. … They will be my people and I shall be their God”. Just as the prophet Ezekiel saw a vision of the uniting of two pieces of wood, symbolising the two kingdoms into which Israel had been divided, so today’s Churches are seeking God’s grace to reconcile the divided sticks and strands of our lives, peoples and world.The National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) has adapted this material, which is available to download at www.churchestogetherinprayer.org.au. Here you will find worship service formats (including PowerPoint version), daily prayer and reflection materials, practical suggestions for churches to implement together, further information and a flyer to purchase prayer cards and posters.
In 2009 (which is also the UN Year of Reconciliation), the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity overlaps with Reconciliation Week in Australia. The WPCU resources offer fresh encouragement to Australian churches to worship together locally, to witness to their unity in Christ, and to pray and act for the greater visible expression of that unity, not least in the context of our journey towards national Reconciliation. Such a prayer base also further strengthens Christian commitment to seeking peace and reconciliation for all in the worldwide Decade to Overcome Violence.
Among the many ecumenical events being planned for this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in Australia is a joint confirmation service on Pentecost Sunday to be led by the Most Revd Michael Malone, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle and the Rt Revd Brian Farran, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle. This is a historic first within Australia and a further expression of the growing Christian commitment between Australian Churches.
To download Week of Prayer for Christian unity materials, go to:
For further information, please contact:
The NCCA office, 02 9229 2215 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or
the Revd Dr Jonathan Inkpin, Secretary of the NCCA’s Faith & Unity Commission (02 9299 2215 or 0410 5893013); or the Council of Churches of WA