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Press Releases / Crossing Barriers – Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Gets Underway in Dublin & Glendalough

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2017The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2017 opened last night (January 18) with the inaugural service in Christ Church, Taney, which was organised by Dublin Council of Churches. This year’s theme is ‘Crossing Barriers’ and is based on 2 Corinthians 5:14–20. It originated in Germany, drawing on the country’s experience of reconciliation and integration.

Taking the theme of ‘Crossing Barriers’, members of the congregation brought ‘stones’ forward to build a wall, acknowledging our failure to be God’s living stones. Each stone bore words reflecting issues which build walls of division: lack of love, hate and contempt, false accusation, discrimination, persecution, broken communion, intolerance, religious wars and conflicts, division and isolation. The wall was dismantled at the end of the service to make the shape of a cross.

The sermon was delivered by the Revd Professor Declan Marmion SM of St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. He noted that this year in Germany Christians would be celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformer Martin Luther in 2017.

Week of PRayer for Christian UnityPope Francis speaks often about the ‘heart of the Gospel’, and Professor Marmion said that this underpinned a pastoral style which was more concerned with the essentials than with a multitude of doctrines. The Pope has called for ecclesial renewal which cannot be deferred and the preacher suggested that Martin Luther also had a reforming agenda which was focused on the heart of the Gospel, urging people to focus anew on the Gospel and witness more credibly to it.

Professor Marmion recalled Pope emeritus Benedict XVI speaking about Martin Luther saying that Luther asked himself ‘Where do I stand before God?’ He said that this was a question each generation of Christians needed to ask. The Professor said that Catholics could now acknowledge that Luther intended to reform and not divide the church. As western society becomes increasingly multi–cultural, it is imperative that Christian churches present their message in a symphonic manner, he said.

At the end of the service the Rector, Canon Robert Warren, dedicated the tags from the Rotary Club Christmas Tree which had been in Dundrum Town Centre. In the run up to Christmas people wrote on the tags to remember a loved one and donated to the Rotary Club which raised €13,500 in Dublin for St Vincent de Paul.

Details of events taking place during in Dublin & Glendalough during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2017 can be found here.

Photo Captions:

Top – Dublin Church Leaders gathered for the opening service of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2017 in Taney.

Bottom – A cross made from the dismantled wall of division.

Category: Press Releases
Posted: Thursday 19th January 2017
Added By: Lynn Glanville

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