Week of Prayer celebrated with ecumenical service

The annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Ecumenical Service was held on January 26 at Trinity United Church in Preeceville. The service was sponsored by the Preeceville and District Ministerial Association.

The theme for this year’s service was “They showed us unusual kindness.”

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The resources for this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity were prepared by different Christian Churches in Malta.

“The history of Christianity in this small island nation dates back to the time of the apostles,” stated Father Michal Pajak of the Roman Catholic Church. “According to tradition, St. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, reached the shores of Malta in the year 60CE. The narrative describing this eventual and providential episode is conveyed to us in the final two chapter of the Acts of the Apostles,” he said.

This text signals the beginning of Christianity in Malta, a small country made up of two inhabited islands, Malta and Gozo, as well as other islets, located at the heart of the Mediterranean Sea. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is centred on the hospitality shown by the islanders towards those who had just been shipwrecked which echoes the theme, “They showed unusual kindness.”

The Preeceville and District Ministerial Association has been celebrating one ecumenical service, rather than eight daily services, for the last few years at a time that works for the local communities.

“We can not face the storm of life alone. A boat moves forward when we all row together. In the face of difficulties, we recognize the need to pull together and to unite our efforts,” stated Diane Kudeba, United Church representative.

The eight oars that were presented represented reconciliation, enlightenment, hope, trust, strength, hospitality, conversion and generosity. Individuals who presented the oars were: Kudeba and Carla Lewis represented the Trinity United Church; Barb Biccum represented the St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church; Casey Hobbs represented the St. John Lutheran Church; Lennette Geistlinger represented the St. James Anglican Church; Brad Steppan represented the Endeavour Fellowship Chapel; Anna Russell represented the Grace United Church and Rob Lagrove represented the Evangel Tabernacle Church.

A potluck supper was held prior to the service.

The service was hosted by the Ministerial, which included representatives from the seven congregations that are part of the Preeceville and District Ministerial Association. Those congregations include: Endeavour Fellowship Chapel, St. James Anglican Church, Endeavour; Evangel Tabernacle, Preeceville; St. John Lutheran Church, Preeceville; Trinity United Church, Preeceville; Grace United Church, Sturgis, and St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Sturgis.

Individuals who participated in the service were representatives and members of the Preeceville and District ministerial: Rev. Miles Russell, Pastor Rob Lagrove, Rev. Hein Bertram, Father Michal Pajak and Pastor Brad Steppan.

Other participants from the member congregations included: Hazel Urbanoski, Jim Siddons, Judy Blahay, Jackie Blotski, and Gaylene Paligan.

Karolyn Kosheluk was the pianist. Marlene Covey was responsible for the kitchen organization and was aided by other church members.