The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is held each year by the Catholic Church and the many Protestant and Orthodox bodies in the World Council of Churches, to remember Jesus' prayer for his followers, "that they may all be one."
Individual congregations throughout the Pittsburgh region may be holding events between Jan. 18 and Jan. 25, 2012 to commemorate this week. But some of the major ones come from Christian Associates, the regional ecumenical organization that includes the Catholic, Orthodox and many Protestant churches in its membership. All of the services are open to anyone who wishes to attend.
On Wed. Jan. 18 at noon in Smithfield United Church of Christ, Downtown, a special service will be led by the jail chaplaincy group that Christian Associates sponsors. The preacher will be the Rev. Jack Sullivan, Jr., president and regional minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Pennsylvania.
The Rev. Sullivan will also preach at the unity liturgy on Sun. Jan. 22 at 3 p.m. in Blessed Sacrament Catholic Cathedral, Greensburg. The worship leader will be Bishop Thomas Bickerton of the United Methodist Conference of Western Pennsylvania, who is well known as a national leader in efforts to end the plague of malaria in Africa.