Ecumenical prayers for Christian Unity held at St. Catherine Lutheran Church in Kyiv
On January 21, a joint service was held in the German Evangelical Lutheran Church of St.
Catherine (GELC) as part of the traditional World Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The prayer service was attended by representatives of the Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican Churches and the UGCC.
The prayer began with an opening speech by the deacon, assistant bishop of the German Evangelical Lutheran Church Ihor Shemihon, who reminded of the origin of the ecumenical movement, emphasized the importance of interfaith dialogue, joint social projects, urgency of bringing together and uniting in common grief.
During the prayer the appeals for companionship, common prayers and further dialogue were repeatedly made. Pastor Ralf Haska (GELC) stressed the importance of achieving unity, because these joint activities show that we have one God, and it is important to know each other and maintain peace between people of different faiths.
In his comments to RISU deacon Ihor Shemihon said: "I've been involved in the ecumenical movement in Ukraine about seven years and I notice that there have been some progress. We assemble not just to make effect or make good pictures, but we really communicate with clergy and laity of different faiths outside worship, we often
hold joint actions, particularly between Protestants and Catholics. Christian denominations are involved in social ministry in Eastern Ukraine, we have held joint youth conference. I see that even without official theological dialogue, people are attracted to each other by the grace of God so they become friends. Therefore, even a little action, a little drop, is a result ".
"Today it is a hard time for Ukraine, because any evidence of brotherhood, common faith, common vision of our future are bringing people together,
therefore now it is also the testimony in spirit and truth,” said RISU the chairman of the Department for Promoting Christian Unity of the UGCC fr. Ihor Shaban. “In today’s Gospel we read about the common vision of our Christian faith that together we can pray and praise God and be friends as humans.”
The Week of Prayer for Christian unity continues January 18 through 25, 2015.