A Season of Ecumenical Prayer: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and World Day of Prayer

With grateful hearts, The Canadian Council of Churches and The Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada are partnering to promote and connect the celebrations of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (WPCU) and the World Day of Prayer in Canada. We invite you and your communities to learn more about the WPCU and to find creative ways of engaging in these two global ecumenical movements!

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is an annual ecumenical celebration that gathers Christians around the world to pray for unity, to reflect on Scripture together, to participate in jointly-organized services and events, and to share fellowship. Traditionally, the WPCU takes place between January 18th (the Feast of the Confession of Saint Peter) and January 25th (the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul) in the northern hemisphere.

Every year, Christians from a different host country prepare the WPCU theme and resources at the invitation of the international WPCU Writing Team appointed by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the World Council of Churches. In Canada, an ecumenical team convened by The Canadian Council of Churches, in partnership with The Canadian Centre for Ecumenism and The Prairie Centre for Ecumenism, prepares yearly supplementary materials.

The 2023 WPCU theme, Do good; seek justice (Is 1:17), chosen by the Minnesota Council of Churches, explores the relationship between our search for unity and our search for just and right relationships with our neighbours. Drawing on the lived experience of Black and Indigenous communities in the USA, this year’s worship and Bible study WPCU resources use story-telling and the symbols of water and stone to help us reflect on – and acknowledge our complicity in – injustices, oppression, and the sin of racism. As we celebrate the 2023 WPCU, may we journey through repentance towards reconciliation and healing. May we become a sign of God’s unity, justice and righteousness.

International and Canadian resources for 2023 WPCU are available for free download at www.weekofprayer.ca (in English) and www.semainedepriere.ca (in French).

 

Maria Simakova

Coordinator, Commission on Faith and Witness

Canadian Council of Churches

 


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