Patriarch Sviatoslav Participates in Interdenominational Prayer Meeting in Protestant Church in Kyiv
On January 25, the Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith of Ukraine (CCEFU) invited ministers and faithful of different denominations to a joint prayer meeting in the Kyiv Philadelphia Church as RISU reported earlier.
The meeting was attended by ministers and faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate, Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith of Ukraine, Union of Free Churches of Christians of Evangelical Faith and other denominations.
In the beginning of the meeting, the head of the Committee for Christian Unity, Fr. Ihor Shaban, told the audience about the history of this initiative in other countries, representatives of the press service of CCEFU reported.
Pastor Anatolii Kozachok referred to the parable of the vine and branches and prayed for the blessing for all the participants and unity in Christ. Senior Bishop of CCEFU Mykhailo Panochko introduced the participants of the meeting.
As he explained the meaning of the unity of Christians, the Head of UGCC, Patriarch Sviatoslav, said that “we have one Father, Who sent us one Son and gave us a gift of one Spirit the Comforter.”
The head of UGCC noted that today in Ukraine the word “faith” is often used in its plural form to denote narrow limits of various denominations, churches, communities of Christians.
“God puts in us the power, which Apostle Paul calls the Gospel and which is the power of God for everyone who believes. There are no two Gospels, no two powers of God; therefore, there cannot be many faiths because we get connected to one Lord by faith,” explained Patriarch Sviatoslav.
In addition, Patriarch Sviatoslav said that UGCC recognizes baptism in all churches and communities baptizing in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. “Therefore, my baptism and yours is one and the same. For baptism is not just a wonderful rite but a new birth, a great gift of God,” he said.
Patriarch Sviatoslav stressed that Christians want to be unified as “the lack of unity is the greatest obstacle in the way of preaching of the Gospel.”
A priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate, Fr. Pavlo called the participants to care about changes without waiting for the last day. “For today, we have to talk about unity because we have many human ambitions, that is our 'self.' Upon a call of the priest, all the participants of the ecumenical meeting jointly prayed Our Father.”