In observance of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge presided at an Ecumenical Prayer Service attended by representatives of Christian denominations in Greenville and Pitt County. The 11:30 AM service was held at St. Peter Catholic Church in Greenville, Wednesday, January 19. The special week is an invitation to Christians to celebrate the unity they already share in Jesus and to pray that we may all become one. This year, the Week of Prayer takes place January 18 through January 25.
In his homily, Bishop Burbidge spoke of the wonderful opportunity the day provided “to join together as fellow Christians rooted in the truth that we are all created in the image and likeness of God.” The Bishop said, “We dare not call Him ‘Father’ if we do not look upon and treat one another as brothers and sisters!”
Bishop Burbidge reminded the gathering that they were sent as followers of Jesus to bring His Light to the world and to work for unity, justice and peace. “We must pray for one another,” the Bishop said. “We must help one another and come together to share our resources and recognize the gifts we have to offer to one another and to the communities in which we serve.”
Brother William Martyn, S.A., Chair of the Diocesan Ecumenical Commission (pictured in the box at right), said the Ecumenical Prayer Service reflects an important aspect of our Baptismal commitment, by which we are bound to pray for Christian unity and to work toward it. “Pope John Paul II made Christian unity a principle of the Church,” Brother Martyn said. “In his Angelus this past Sunday, Pope Benedict talked about it and today, Bishop Burbidge spoke of its importance to the Christian family.”
Clergy taking part in the service were Rev. Drew Goodson, Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Greenville, who provided the First Reading; Rev. Dr. Bill Sherman, Jarvis Memorial Methodist Church in Greenville, who proclaimed the Gospel; and Rev. Karen Crutchfield, Chaplain at Cypress Glen Methodist Care Facility, who led the Prayers of Intercession. Bishop Burbidge expressed his gratitude to Fr. Justin Kerber, C.P., Pastor of St. Peter Church, for hosting the Prayer Service.
Above: Clergy from various Christian denominations participated in the Prayer Service.
Below: Among those in attendance were students from St. Peter Catholic school.