January 18-25, 2013, marks the annual observance of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The week is an invitation to all Christian denominations to celebrate the unity they share in Jesus and to pray that we may all become one.
Bishop Burbidge joined with Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, United Methodist Bishop of the North Carolina Conference and other clergy and faithful in an Ecumenical service at Resurrection United Methodist Church in Durham to celebrate the Week of Prayer. The service was prepared by a group composed of several members of Christian churches from Durham, Raleigh, Apex and Cary. Holy Cross Roman Catholic Gospel Choir led the hymns.
Among those in attendance were Msgr. David D. Brockman, Vicar General of the Diocese; Br. William J. Martyn, S.A., Chair of the Diocesan Ecumenical Commission; Fr. William McIntyre, O.F.M., Parochial Vicar at Immaculate Conception Church in Durham; and Rev. Robert Johnson, Pastor of Resurrection United Methodist Church.
Begun in 1908, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is celebrated each year in cities and towns across the country and around the world. The theme for the 2013 observance is “What Does God Require of Us?” (cf. Micah 6:6–8).
In her sermon, Bishop Ward encouraged the Christian community, “To seek justice and love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.”
In his letter to the Catholic faithful issued in parish bulletins this past weekend, Bishop Burbidge wrote, “While we are to pray always for Christian unity, during this Week of Prayer, I invite you to pray daily for unity among Christian communities, and also to reflect upon what Our Lord is requiring of you.”
Brother Martyn said, “The Ecumenical Prayer Service is witness to that requirement, reflecting an important aspect of our Baptismal commitment, in which we are bound to pray for Christian unity and to work toward it.”
Above: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge attending Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Prayer Service held at Resurrection United Methodist Church in Durham. Click photo to view larger.