Churches in the northern hemisphere normally mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in January, this year between 18–25 January 2017, the feast days of St Peter and St Paul.
The Spirituality Ireland blog notes that this year the WPCU material revolves around the theme of “Reconciliation – the love of Christ compels us” inspired by 2 Corinthians 5:14-20 and has been prepared by Arbeitsgemeinschaft Christlicher Kirchen (ACK) (Council of Christian Churches) in Germany.
German history is pertinent to and informs the material. This year marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and Martin Luther’s publication of his 95 Theses in 1517. German churches have worked together as ecumenical partners to create Chritusfest 2017, a celebration of Christ that all Christians could celebrate. And from this emerged a strong determination to make this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian unity about Reconciliation.
Writing on Spirituality Ireland, Stephen Spillane notes other resonances:
“With the events in the Mediterranean and the plans of some politicians to build physical barriers along with Germany’s history of division and the physical barrier of the Berlin Wall this material is both powerful and thought provoking.”
The “Crossing Barriers” material – pamphlets, orders of service, reflections in English, Welsh and Irish – for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity can be downloaded from the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) website.