The Dominica Christian Council (DCC), comprising of the Anglican, Methodist and Catholic churches, is this week (14 – 18 May 2018) promoting unity in the midst of diversity as it observes Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has a history of over one hundred years, in which Christians around the world have taken part in an octave of prayer for visible Christian unity.
By annually observing the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Christians move toward the fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer at the Last Supper “that they all may be one.”
The theme for the 2018 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is, ‘Your Right Hand, O Lord, Glorious in Power,’ and is taken from the book of Exodus 15:6.
Reverend Dr. Novelle Josiah, speaking during a radio program to commence Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on Monday 14 May said oneness need not be forced or superficial but instead worked towards.
“This we can do by agreeing to disagree, we can also encourage dialogue between different denominations and faith communities, we also need to practice tolerance and respect,” Dr Josiah proposed.
“If we were to incorporate all of these in our religious pursuits and expression, then the ideals of Christian unity would be realized,” he added.
Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church, Gabriel Malzaire who was also part of the radio program, said the Dominica Christian Council exists to foster a sense of unity among Christian churches which is done in various ways.
Bishop Malzaire noted that the Council does so by hosting joint liturgical services, Opening of the new law term, Commonwealth Day Service, Remembrance Day Service and Independence Day celebrations, and promoting peace on the island especially during general election campaigns.
This year, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, will seek to foster greater unity among Christian churches through two Post-Maria trauma workshops and an ecumenical service.
The Post-Maria Trauma workshops will be held on Thursday 17 May and Friday 18 May at the Methodist Church on Virgin Lane, Roseau from 9am to 1pm.
The workshops will be facilitated by Rev. Stephane Brooks, a Methodist Minister from St. Maarten based in Nashville, U.S.A and Kristen Elizabeth Vincent, a consultant also from the U.S.A.
As per Bishop Malzaire, the workshops will take place in two stages; the first one on the 17th will be for pastors and members of the clergy, while the second will target youth ministers, persons involved with youth work and teachers.
They are invited “to come together to reflect and learn a little more as to how to deal with the trauma that has been created by the hurricane Maria”.
An Ecumenical Service, at the Methodist Church, from 7PM on Friday 18 May will conclude the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.