Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
January 18-25, 2018
“If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” (1 Corinthians 12:26)
Resources described below will be linked here and also available at nhchurches.org/solidarity.
Since 1908, churches of many denominations have celebrated an annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity during the week of January 18-25. This year, the New Hampshire Council of Churches will take up Solidarity as our theme. As the verse above (1 Cor. 12:26) says, Christians are united already by faith as members of the Body of Christ. This means that when one suffers, all suffer along side. When one rejoices, all of us celebrate together.
This spiritual solidarity has implications for Christian action in the world. Pope John Paul II gave strong support to the Polish trade union called “Solidarity.” This unity helped overcome Soviet oppresion in Poland and began the ending of the Cold War.
Today, Christians in the Granite State are acting in unity through the Immigration Solidarity Network. Some Manchester churches are also starting from a foundation of Christian unity to address our state’s opioid epidemic.
Here are some ways that you can engage with the “Solidarity” Week of Prayer for Christian Unity:
1. Form a Bible Study class around the NH Immigrant Solidarity Network’s Handbook (to be posted soon). This will include six Bible study lessons to learn what the Word of God says about immigration, unity and togetherness. After gaining a Scriptural understanding solidarity, your church will be more prepared to engage in immigrant solidarity. Special thanks to Sarah Jane Knoy of Granite State Organizing Project for this handbook!
2. Participate or replicate the Holy Family: Migrant Family worship service. This worship service will be hosted on Wednesday, January 24 at 7:00pm at St. Anne-St. Augustin Catholic Church, 382 Beech Street in Manchester, NH. This event will invite all people, including diverse populations, civic leaders, clergy and lay leaders of all kinds to thank God for the good work done, ask for the Spirit’s help and to connect theologically the Holy Family of Jesus to the migrant families of today. If you cannot attend this service, we will soon post resources for use in your local congregation. Special thanks to Father Sam Fuller, OFM Cap for preparing this worship resource!
3. Incorporate some of the above into your worship on Sunday, January 21. This is the Sunday that falls during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. You might adapt parts of the Holy Family: Migrant Family service for use on Sunday morning. You might use the Bible Study materials as a jumping off point for a single sermon or discussion group after worship. We will post links to more prayers and worship ideas soon!