United Methodists Urged to Join In 2005 ‘Week of Prayer for Christian Unity’

Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church
Bishop Roy I. Sano, Executive Secretary
100 Maryland Ave. NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 547-6270

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 14, 2004

Contact: Stephen Drachler
(615) 742-5411 office
(615) 456-4710 cell

United Methodists Urged to Join In 2005
'Week of Prayer for Christian Unity'

NEW YORK The United Methodist Church's top ecumenical officials are encouraging congregations to set aside time in January to participate in the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Bishop William B. Oden, Ecumenical Officer for the denomination's Council of Bishops, and Larry D. Pickens, General Secretary of the General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, said the week of January 18-25 has been designated for the observance.

"For more than 90 years, Christians have set aside time for prayer and reflection on their unity in Christ," Oden said. "We encourage United Methodists to join in this important celebration and observance."

Pickens said the theme for the 2005 observance is "All Things are Yours&ellipsis; You Belong in Christ&ellipsis; and Christ, the Unique Foundation, Belongs to God," reflecting Paul's letter to the church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 3:1-23.

"Christians across the world will come together in celebration of our unity in Christ," Pickens said.

Free resources to assist congregations and ecumenical organizations in the planning and celebration of the Week of Prayer are available on-line from the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute of New York City. The Web site is:
www.geii.org

On-line resources include bulletin and pulpit announcements, suggestions for scripture references, and tools for communicating messages about the Week of Prayer in local communities.

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Here is the letter sent to bishops and church leaders this week by Bishops Oden and Pickens:

Dec. 14, 2004

Dear Friends:

All United Methodists are encouraged to observe the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, on January 18th 25th.

Communities across the world will come together in celebration of our unity in Christ and United Methodists are a central part of this celebration.

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was initiated in 1908. It has evolved through the years into a major ecumenical observance.

The theme for 2005 is, "All Things are Yours&ellipsis; You Belong to Christ&ellipsis; and Christ, the Unique Foundation, Belongs to God." 1 Corinthians 3:1-23

Materials can be ordered from the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute. The website is www.geii.org. These materials can be downloaded without charge.

Let the unity in Christ be made more visible through this very special week.

Yours In Christ,

Larry D. Pickens, General Secretary Bishop William B. Oden,
The General Commission on Ecumenical Officer, Council of Bishops
Christian Unity & Interreligious
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