Week of prayer unites Philippines churches
All denominations prepare for public outreach program
The week, led by the Vatican and World Council of Churches, has continued to unite and strengthen the bonds of Roman Catholic, mainline Protestant, evangelical and Pentecostal churches in Baguio city.
“Through this global week of prayer for unity, we can listen to and learn from each other’s Christian tradition and prayer is the first thing that can unite us all,” said Father Andres Cosalan, vicar-general of the Roman Catholic diocese of Baguio.
Cosalan was speaking recently before members and leaders of the Baguio-Benguet Ecumenical Group, which groups Roman Catholic, mainline Protestant, evangelical and Pentecostal churches in Baguio and Benguet province.
The ecumenical group celebrates the event from Jan. 17 to Jan. 22. Each day at 5:00 p.m. from Jan. 17, parishioners of the various churches will celebrate Holy Mass or a worship service in an assigned host church.
The Roman Catholic Baguio Cathedral will be the first host on Jan. 17; the United Methodist Church, Jan. 18; the St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Jan. 19; the Anglican Cathedral of the Resurrection, Jan. 20; the Philippine Military Academy Evangelical Church, Jan. 21 and the United Church of Christ in the Philippines-Baguio, a Protestant group, on Jan. 22.
An important integral activity of the global week of prayer is an 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. continuous reading of the Bible at the People’s Park at the heart of this city of almost 400,000 on Jan. 21.
Aided with microphones intended to reach passers-by, assigned readers from the various churches and some government offices will take turns in reading passages from books of the New Testament.
“The activity seeks to help promote a wider appreciation of the basis of our Christian faith – the Holy Bible,” said Bishop Rodolfo Juan of the United Methodist Church, which will lead the continuous nine-hour Bible reading.
The activity is also supported by the Philippine Bible Society, which is organizing similar public Bible reading in Manila and other cities.
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Bishops instead urge Catholics to pray for healing forgiveness and peace in the country