I am glad to see CCMBC put forth its Week of Prayer material. I hope it offers people in our MB churches an avenue to slow down, contemplate the readings, and manifest Christ’s body in a manner that enriches our souls and those around us. However, I ask why does CCMBC not recognize the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. For over 100 years, during the third week of January, this observance represents one of the most opportune and important moments to provide a collective witness to the world. I have received only basic organizational responses in the past from CCMBC, which have not addressed why we would not choose to be part of this larger initiative. We are rightly focused on a Collaborative Model within CCMBC; however, this posture implies maintaining that practice as we move beyond our MB churches to the wider Christian community. Whether lay or clergy, we are not isolated unto our own. If or when we choose to neglect this broader community, it can certainly speak an unintended message; others may interpret this as a form of elitism or holier-than-thou-ism. Again, it may not be the intent, but nonetheless, both parties suffer when unity is not sought. And maybe most tragically, the magnitude of our witness to the secular world around us is significantly diminished. Or stated in a positive manner, there is a unique blessing and richness that comes when we humbly share and learn across denominations!
I am writing as one who has experienced this week recognized and celebrated in its intended form through time spent in Latin America with MCC. I also work currently with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and work daily with people across communities in SK that are committed to the way of Christ. The genuine seeking of unity is of heightened importance and relevance during the Week of Prayer, especially in these times of disruption, polarization, etc. Our churches (collectively, MB’s joining the many others) need to be light in the world and recognize and pray for our wholeness as the body of Christ.
I ask that CCMBC consider participating in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 2023 and beyond.
Rick Block, Saskatoon, SK