2017 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Service

Service Outline/Prayers from the 2017 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Service held on Sunday Jan 15th at Westminster United Church in Humboldt

Resource materials provided by the Council of Churches in Germany (ACK)

 

Following the opening hymns and greetings, the prayer of confession was shared…..

 

God, we come to you in Jesus’ name. We experience renewal through your Holy Spirit and yet we still construct walls that divide us, walls which hinder community and unity. We bring before you now the stones with which we erect our walls and pray for your forgiveness and healing.

 

As each of the stones is brought forward, we will make a plea for forgiveness followed by the response:

Leader: We humbly pray…

All: Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

 

Stone # 1: Lack of love

Stone # 2: Hate and contempt

Stone # 3: False accusation

Stone # 4: Discrimination

Stone # 5: Persecution

Stone # 6: Broken communion

Stone # 7: Intolerance

Stone # 8: Religious wars

Stone # 9: Division

Stone # 10: Abuse of power

Stone # 11: Isolation

Stone # 12: Pride

 

Lord, Our God, look upon this wall that we have built, which separates us from You and from one another. Forgive us our sins. Heal us. Help us to overcome all walls of division and make us one in You, we pray.

All: Amen

 

As the youth/children brought forward each of the bricks/stones they placed them to form a wall in the sanctuary.

 

 

Scripture readings:

Ezekiel 36: 25-27

Psalm 18: 25-32

2 Corinthians 5: 14-20

Luke 15: 11-24)

After which the youth/children dismantled the wall as a symbol of our reconciliation in Christ and created a cross with the same bricks/stones.

 

At the end of the service these intercessory prayers were shared….

 

Almighty God, you sent your Son Jesus Christ to reconcile the world to yourself. We praise you for those whom you sent in the power of the Spirit to preach the Gospel to all nations. We thank you that in all parts of the earth a community of love has been gathered together by their prayers and labours and that in every place your servants call upon your name. May your Spirit awaken in every community a hunger and thirst for unity in you…..

 

Gracious God, we pray for our churches. Fill them with all truth and peace. Where faith is corrupted, purify it; where people go astray, redirect them; where they fail to proclaim your Gospel, reform them; where they witness to what is right, strengthen them; where they are in need, provide for them; and where they are divided, reunite them….

 

Creator God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus Christ, your Son. Look with compassion on the whole human family’ take away the arrogance and hatred that infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love. And even in our weaknesses, work to accomplish your purposes on earth, so that every people and nation may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne….

 

Holy Spirit, Giver of Life, we are created to become whole in you and to share this life on earth with our brothers and sisters. Awaken in each of us your compassion and love. Give us strength and courage to work for justice in our neighbourhoods, to create peace within our families, to comfort the sick and dying, and to share all we have with those who are in need. For the transformation of every human heart…we pray to the Lord…..

 

Following this the youth/children shared the Light of Christ with the gathered congregation, to the following commission….

 

A lighted candle is a deeply human symbol: it enlightens the darkness, creates warmth, security and community. It symbolizes Christ, the light of the world. As ambassadors for Christ we will carry this light into the world, into the dark places where fighting, discord and division impede our united witness. May Christ’s light effect reconciliation in our thoughts, words and deeds.

Receive the Light of Christ and carry it into the dark places of our world! Be ministers of reconciliation. Be ambassadors for Christ!

 

Thank you to Carrie Frostad and the Youth and Children who ushered, read scriptures and assisted with the liturgy; Kevin and Michele Ackerman for providing music and accompaniment for the service; and to all who helped with refreshments afterwards.

Youth Group – Fun with the El Halaf El Degerli Family

On Friday January 13th, the Westminster Youth Group hosted the El Halaf El Degerli family, and families of HARC to a night of fun, friendship and food!  A total of 38 people attended, including children, youth and adults.  The Youth ran five different activities throughout the evening for the children, while the adults got to sit back and visit.  These activities included sock snowball fights, hide-and-seek sardines in the dark, Veggie Tales theatre, two science experiments, and a fun craft of make your own playdoh!  Thank you to everyone who came out, and to those who continue to support the El Halaf El Degerli family.