January 18, 2023, marks the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (WPCU) —an annual event that recognizes the diverse expressions of our unity in Christ’s church.
This year’s theme, “Do good; seek justice,” from Isaiah 1:17, and accompanying materials, were chosen and prepared by the Minnesota Council of Churches (USA). Canadian resources were prepared by the ecumenical WPCU Writing and Animation Team of volunteers from member churches in partnership with the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism , the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism and the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada .
There are opening and closing ecumenical services, daily morning and noon services, Bible studies, assorted explorations of the daily themes online, workshops, seminars, and a host of other innovative approaches to the material.
You can attend a local Week of Prayer service or event—in person and/or via live stream. You can also plan an eight-day Bible study anytime during the year. WPCU resources are available here . Please check the Canadian Council of Churches website for updates on WPCU 2023 events.
Do Good; Seek Justice
Could any theme be more specific and more necessary at this moment?
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity materials may have originated south of our border (Minnesota) and yet they speak clearly and powerfully to the Canadian context. As the introduction to the Canadian content says:
“We are no strangers to the issues that arise from these studies! Although Canadians often speak of building a diverse, inclusive and just society, we know that racism is deeply embedded in society and that we have seen great violence against people of colour and against ethnic and religious minorities.”
Each day invites us deeper into a world we know well—the world of Truth and Reconciliation, the world of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, the world where Black Lives Matter and Every Child Counts, and the world where we explore the plights and struggles of marginalized and oppressed people in society. As we undertake the Bible studies created for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, let us bring the honest questions and reflections that come when the gospel informs the truth of our past, present and future. As we seek greater unity, may it be in service to the love and justice God has revealed in Jesus.
How can you get the most out of these eight days?
Traditionally, there have been opening and closing ecumenical services, daily early morning or noon services, neighbourhood or congregational bible studies, assorted explorations of the daily themes through online meetings, workshops, seminars and a host of other innovative approaches to the material. The real question is, what is best for our context and community?
—A reflection by the Rev. Kenn Stright, member of the Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations Committee and representative of The Presbyterian Church in Canada on the Canadian Council of Churches Week of Prayer Writing Committee.