The week of prayer for Christian unity concludes at Seva Sadan church

January 29, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

week of prayer for Christian unity concludes at Seva Sadan churchJanuary 18 to 25 is celebrated as the week of prayer for Christian unity all over the world. In Bhopal the week ofprayer was organized in five Protestant and three Catholic Churches. The prayer began with great devotion and fervorin the Halleluiah Church, at Berasia Road on January 18th and ended at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Seva Sadan, Tulsinagar, Bhopal on January 25th. In between prayers were conducted in St. John’s Church,  Govindpura, Christ School, Bairagarh, A.G. Church, Anandnagar, St. Thomas Malankara Catholic Church, Arera Hills, Good News Church, Hoshangabad Road, and Queen of the Universe Church, at Kolar Road. In the eight daysprayer conducted in different Churches, about 1500 people drawn from different Christian denominations, including Bishops, Priests, Pastors and Sisters participated.

Prominent among those who took part in the Prayer Services  were,  Rt. Rev. Dr. Leo Cornelio SVD, Dr. David Pagare, Pastor C.P. Singh, Pastor Sam Francis, Fr. S Solomon the PRO and Fr. Johny P.J, the Spokesperson of Bhopal Archdiocese, Fr. Joseph Thannippally, Fr. Lancy Fernandes, Fr. Shellmon Antony, Fr. Alexander, Fr. Ronald Cardoza, Fr. Abraham V.P,  Pastor Anil Kumar, Pastor Edwin Nathanael, Pastor Prabhakar, Pastor Anil Martin, Pastor Stephen  and Pastor Biju Varghese.

On the concluding day of the prayer, Dr. Leo Cornelio, the Archbishop of Bhopal said that it is love leading to service that would bring about unity among Christians. Earlier on 23rd January, during the prayer at Malankara Church, Arera Hills, Dr. Cornelio said that love and unity would show that Christ is present among Christians while division among them  would show that Christ is absent in their midst. Pastor Anil Kumar said that unity is a must among Christians. If they continue to be divided, the Church will have no life and she cannot grow. Pastor Mathew Yohannan said that Jesus did not establish Churches but he established the Church. In the context of the Church being split into hundreds of denominations, Fr. Jose Prakash said that the Church, which is the Body of Christ and which is broken into thousands of denominations, is practically dead and therefore she is on the decline.

week of prayer for Christian unity concludes at Seva Sadan churchPastor Edwin Nathanael said that it is necessary for Priests and Pastors of different denominations to come together and pray so that unity may be fostered and the Gospel may be effectively proclaimed.  Pastor Prabhakar said that it is the Holy Spirit who can unite all the Christians. The disciples of Jesus, he added,  were often divided, but on the day of Pentecost they were united. Dr. David Pagare, in his sharing said, that we have to become humble and Christ like in order to be one. Pastor Biju Varghese, the principal speaker on 25th January, elaborating on John 13: 31-35, said that we must forget about our differences and make a strong decisionto pray and work together.

On the concluding day of the Unity Octave, Fr. Shellmon Antony, the Parish Priest of Seva Sadan Church welcomed the participants and conducted the prayer with much fervor and devotion while the choir led by Fr. Alexander conducted praise and worship with melodious songs, that led to a prayerful atmosphere. Fr. Jose Prakash, the Secretary of Commission for Inter-religious Dialogue and Ecumenism and the main organizer of the Prayer for Unity Octave thanked the gathering and especially the Archbishop, those priests, pastors, sisters and lay people who cooperated whole-heartedly for conducting Prayer Services in different Churches. At the end of the prayer, all participants exchanged peace with one another with much warmth and love. The Christians of Bhopal, who participated in the prayer, certainly had an experience of oneness and unity in diversity during the Octave of Prayer for Unity. Many participants expressed their heart’s desire that such prayers should be held not only from 18 to 25 January, but more frequently  through-out the year.


– press release

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