Week for Christian Unity joins all faith

February 25, 2014

HOUSTON — More than 200 judicatories, clergy, religious and laity of all ages joined voices and hearts in love of God as they entered into the mystery of spiritual ecumenism, praying together with the Word held in common while respecting each one’s tradition. The event, a concert of praise and prayer service, was held at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart on Jan. 24, and concluded the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. 

This service fell in line with the urging of Pope Francis, who concluded the Week of Prayer at the Tomb of St. Paul with a call for unity and love:
“Let us pray that he will help us on this path of unity and of love, as we advance towards unity. Unity will not come about as a miracle at the very end. Rather, unity comes about in journeying; the Holy Spirit does this on the journey. If we do not walk together, if we do not pray for one another, if we do not collaborate in the many ways that we can in this world for the people of God, then unity will not come about! But, it will happen on this journey, in each step we take. And it is not we who are doing this, but rather the Holy Spirit, who sees our goodwill.” 

Reflecting upon the 2014 theme, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo offered a scholarly and insightful exegesis “Has Christ Been Divided?” (1 Corinthians 1:13), inviting all who were present to embrace the love of God through the Cross of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit.

Cardinal DiNardo was joined by representatives from other denominations, including the Rev. Blair Lundborg, assistant to the bishop at Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, ELCA; the Rev. David A. Roschke, ecumenical representative, Gulf Coast Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America; Ikki Soma, servant pastor at City of Refuge Evangelical Presbyterian Church; the Rev. Charles Turner, pastor at New Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church; the Rev. Mike Cole, general presbyter at Presbytery of New Covenant; the Rev. B. T. Williamson, assistant to the bishop at Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church; and the Rev. Gena Davis, ecumenical representative at the the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.

The Gospel choir participants included, among others, many members from Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, CAAM-Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, and Holy Family Catholic Church, under the direction of Michael Pickett, Music Minister of Pleasant Hill, and Dr. Andre LaCour, Director of CAAM. A collection benefiting the Houston Food Bank was included in the service.

The concert of praise and prayer service was coordinated by a committee representing Healing the Brokenness Ministry of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, the Center for Faith and Culture of the University of St. Thomas, the Archdiocesan Office of Worship, and the various judicatories leading the prayer service.