Unity in diversity is something that we were taught in school, but have forgotten over the years. Embracing people as they are, is something that is often easier said than done.
'Ecumenism', according to Wikipedia, refers to the concept and principle that Christians who belong to different Christian denominations should work together to develop closer relationships among their churches and promote Christian unity.
The adjective 'ecumenical' is, thus, applied to any initiative that encourages greater cooperation and union among Christian denominations and churches.
Keeping in mind the very essence of Christianity as a religion, the All India Mission Seminary, Pilar, celebrated the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity by organising an Ecumenical Prayer Meet in the Seminary Chapel.
The meet was held on January 25, 2023. Rev Fr Peter Melo Fernandes, the Rector of the Mission Seminary, addressed the gathering and then led the representatives of the different Christian churches to light the lamp and inaugurate the prayer meet.
The representatives of the different Christian churches that attended the meet were, Rev Emerson Carmel representing the Methodist Church, Irene George from the Rupantaran Fellowship Church, Rev Sheejo Abraham from St Thomas Marthoma Syrian Church and Rev Fr Tony Lope representing the Roman Catholic Church.
The meeting was coordinated by Fr Benson Valiyaveettil. The main theme of this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was 'Do good; seek justice' a verse drawn from the holy Bible.
The courage of humility is essential to attain unity among Christians, agreed all the members who were present at the meet. Each of the attendees shared their reflections during the service.
The prayer service had beautiful harmonious singing from all sides as members of different the churches chimed in.
During the service, the symbols of water (signifying the sacramental life) and stone (signifying the sacredness of the ground on which many generations have stood) were important elements.
The prayer meet concluded with a fellowship meal shared by all those who were attending the service.