Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2009
Theme: That they may become one in your hand.
(Ezekiel 37:15-19, 22-24a)

Components for the 2009 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and beyond
Revised January 2, 2009

After the Last Supper, Jesus prayed for his disciples and thus expressed the deepest desire of His heart:

That they all may be one, as You, Father, are one in me, and I in You; that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that You have sent me. (John, 17:21.) And the Apostle Paul exhorted the early Christian Church: I, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Eph, 4:1-6) These words have inspired many Christians to work for Christian Unity.

The Roman Catholic Church, as well as many Christian denominations, will celebrate worldwide the 101st anniversary of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, 2009. The focus of this year's Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is on Christians who are persecuted around the world.

1. Component I: Preparation during Advent-Christmas-Epiphany season, using Sacred Scripture to Learn about and Pray for Christian Unity from the first Sunday of Advent (Nov. 29, 2008 Vigil Mass) until January 17, 2009: The main texts will be The Gospel of John, Chapter 17 and some other passages, and various passages from the Epistles of St. Paul on the theme of unity. Our familiarity with Sacred Scripture is the foundation for dialogue with our fellow Christians. (See http://smdm-fb.org/ChristianUnity/index.htm.)
2. Component II: Eight Days of Prayer at Santa Maria del Mar, from January 18 to January 25, 2009, weaving prayers for Christian Unity into the Masses (homilies, prayer of the faithful, song), Adoration and other activities. (See http://smdm-fb.org/ChristianUnity/Prayers4ChristianUnity/index.html)
3. Component III: An Ecumenical Prayer and Praise Event, Saturday, January 24, 2009, between 1:00 and 3:30 PM, at Santa Maria del Mar church, with participation of as many church choirs as possible, with some songs to be sung in unison by all choirs and everybody, and some to be sung only by certain choir(s). Mary Ann Ahearn is in charge.
4. Component IV: A Keynote Address by Rev. Stephen Bosso on Saint Paul and the Christian Community, followed by comments and discussion by Pastors of various Christian Denominations, with participation by the audience as time permits. Thursday, January 22, 2009, from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM.
Beyond the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Christians United in Community Action
5. Component V. Let area Christian churches and communities come together for common social action to alleviate the human suffering caused by the current economic crisis, in some practical Interfaith Alliance for the common good, pooling, coordinating, and expanding resources and volunteer projects? The Santa Maria del Mar's St. Vincent de Paul Society is our base organization.
6. Component VI. Let area Christian churches and communities come together for common environmental stewardship around Earth Day (April 22, 2009 which is the Wednesday after Easter). The Santa Maria del Mar's Stewardship Committee is our lead organization.

We need as many volunteers as possible. Please contact Chau Phan at phancity@bellsouth.net or 445-6121.
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