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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2023

Chaplaincies from Belgium, Turkey, Italy, Spain and Germany joined many others across the Church as part of this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (WPCU), hosted by Churches Together.

The week ran between 18 - 25 January and saw Christians join together to explore how we all can help to promote racial justice under the theme ‘Be-Longing: Praying for Unity amidst Injustice’

This Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was guided by the churches of Minneapolis as we explored how the work of Christian unity can contribute to the promotion of racial justice across all levels of society.

As we join with other Christians around the world for the Week of Prayer we pray that our hearts will be open to see and hear the many ways in which racism continues to destroy lives, and to discern the steps we can take as individuals and communities to heal the hurts and build a better future for everyone.

The Chaplaincy in Bonn, Cologne took to their social media platforms to share some of the WPCU resources: “As the people of God, how are our churches called to engage in justice that unites us in our actions to love and serve all of God’s family? #wpcu2023”

The Ibiza & Formentera Chaplaincy hosted a series of events across the island, including an hour of prayer.

And St John’s in Ghent posted on Facebook: “With grateful thanks to Vader Barnabas (Orthodox Church of the Holy Apostle Andrew, Ghent) and Pastor Jo Jan for leading today's special service to mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity”

If you’re interested in learning more about this year’s theme of ‘Be-Longing: Praying for Unity amidst Injustice’, you can find the WPCU’s resource pamphlet here and follow along with the eight days of prayers, reflections, and commentary surrounding an issue that is all too often ignored.

Revd Tony Dickinson, Chaplain at Holy Ghost Genoa, preached on this theme “The unity that we are called to seek is not the unity of the like-minded. Nor is it a unity defined by race or culture or social class. The unity that we are called to seek is the unity driven by Jesus’ proclamation: ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’ And, in case anyone needs reminding, “repent” doesn’t mean saying sorry, or even being sorry (the two don’t necessarily go together!). That’s “penitence”. Repentance” means changing the way we look at things, the way we think about things, the way we understand things. The German word for repentance, “Umkehr”, which literally means “turning around”, explains the idea rather better.”

You can find his sermon online here.