A joint statement by various Christian groups in Hong Kong, during the week of prayer for Christian Unity, expressed commitment to embrace the path of growth and justice together.
The Diocesan Ecumenical Commission, the Ecumenical Patriarchate Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and South East Asia, and the Hong Kong Christian Council held the week of prayer for Christian Unity from January 18 to 25.
“We need to change from our past misconceptions and values, from self to others, learn to respect each other, take the dignity and value of human nature seriously, raise the awareness of care, speak up for the weak, the excluded and neglected communities, love and help each other, and ameliorate the disparity between the rich and the poor in society today,” the statement read.
The opening ecumenical prayer service took place at All Saints’ Anglican Cathedral of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, Mong Kok.
Divine Word missionary Father Joseph Tan Lei-tao shared his reflections on the theme for the week of prayer is “Do Good; Seek Justice,” from Isaiah 1:17.
The Catholic priest cited St. Arnold Janssen, the founder of the Society of Divine Word, as an example of those who conducted good works with great commitment and sacrifice for God.
Father Tan clarified that "seek justice" means "the reward from God, our eternal life," not punishment.
Reverend Samson Fan Chun-ho of the Anglican Community and Father Paul Tam Wing-ming led prayers and asked attendees to write a keyword on a stone to remember them to do good and seek justice.
Nepali Union Church pastor Reverend Baraily Raju told the Sunday Examiner that he wrote "better world in Christ" on the stone to encourage people to work together for change.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity started annually on January 18 which is the original day of the feast of the Chair of St. Peter and ends on January 25, the feast of Conversion of St. Paul.
PIME Sister Anitha Eddula wrote "peace" on the stone with a cross beneath to symbolize that churches can unite together for peace.
About 70 people participated in the event, including leaders and laypeople from the Catholic and Protestant denominations. - With inputs from Sunday Examiner
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