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Love of Jesus Binds Us All

26 January 2009 No Comment

18TH – 25TH JANUARY 2009
Theme: “That they shall be one in my hand.”

This year’s services were inspired by the Churches in Korea. The chosen passage from Ezekiel 37: 15 – 24 resonates with their sense of sadness over the continued division of their country since the Korean War (1950-1953). Based on their insights we were asked to come ‘Face to Face’ with … differences, violence, creation, prejudice, and pain.The week of prayer for Christian Unity began on 18th January at the United Reformed Church with a service conducted by Samantha White. Representatives from all churches of Sudbury & District enthusiastically participated in the annual event. Father Peter Brett, the newly appointed Roman Catholic priest giving his first sermon at a Churches Together service, likened churches in England to a bath with taps flowing strongly but with the bath plug out! He asserted that a love of Jesus was essential to a healthy church and wherever love was evident, there Jesus was to be found.

Throughout the week to 25th January between 30 and 60 attended the daily half -hour lunchtime services. At St Andrew’s Great Cornard Jamie Allen focused on ‘Violence’, with readings and contemplation ending with lighting of candles and prayers for places where conflicts persist. At Sudbury Baptist Church on Tuesday evening Brian Stenner explored the differences between churches and the values that bind us; while on Wednesday Canon Gregory Webb, at St Gregory’s, declared that unity among Christians was essential to protect the gifts of God’s creation. A prayerful debate ensued.

Amid the quiet of a Quaker meeting on Thursday the congregation focused on ‘Prejudice’. On Friday the heavens opened in an angry squall of rain and snow providing an apposite backdrop to reflect and meditate in the Catholic Church on the pain suffered by Jesus, and the story of the Storm on the Lake. The week wound up with a hearty breakfast at Cornard Christian Fellowship and prayers on the theme of St Paul’s meeting with the Athenians (Acts Ch17).

A wonderful spirit was evident at all the meetings and the new ministers and priests were amazed at the numbers of participants and the solidarity of Churches Together in Sudbury & District. May we give God the glory!

Jane Kohler

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