The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is a worldwide movement to inspire local expressions of Christianity to gather together and pray.
It was after the Week of Christian Prayer for Unity in 1999 that I began my spiritual journey toward the Anglican Church. At the time I was a student training to become a missionary at what was then called Western Pentecostal Bible College in Abbotsford. The student council was invited to the Seminary of Christ the King in Mission to mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. I had never heard of this Week before and am still so grateful that a Roman Catholic Monastery was inspired to invite a bunch of Pentecostal kids to meet and talk about spiritual things with their seminarians.
Suddenly Christianity was larger and more interesting than I had been brought up to believe.
This Week led me to (secretly) attend the monastery for worship Sunday mornings. I made connections with a couple of the monks and a few of the seminarians who walked with me through the liturgy and prayed with me as I reoriented my spiritual journey. At this time, I began to hunger for holy communion.
After a year of praying with my Roman Catholic friends, I knew I had to decide. Was I going to stay in the tradition of my parents, or go on a grand new adventure?
My dear grandmother, a United Church Presbyterian, was always in the back of my mind. And I believe through her intercessions, an idea came to mind.
On my way to Church one Sunday morning, I remembered that there was this thing called the Anglican Church. It was the Church of C.S. Lewis, and I had the inkling that one could take communion there without having first been received into their fellowship.
I turned my car around and drove to a pay phone to look up the nearest Anglican Church. Eventually, I stumbled on the Parish of St. Matthew in Abbotsford. I arrived just in time for the liturgy, took communion (my first sip of wine!), and stayed.
Again, I still thank God for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
If you need help organizing your local expression of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, give me a shout. I will coach you as best as I can.
Who knows, maybe there is another missionary in training whose spiritual journey will be renewed in amazing ways.
co-chair of the Ecumenical and Multifaith ministries