Clergy Notes — Third Sunday after Epiphany, January 23 2022

Today is the Sunday in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. For over 100 years Christians have set aside this week in January to focus not on the differences between the churches, but on what unites us, what we share in common, and to pray that we may learn to walk more closely together in the way of Christ. This past century has seen the development of the Ecumenical Movement at international, national and local level. There are ongoing conversations between the different churches, a deepening understanding of the riches of different theological traditions and perspectives. There has been a growing recognition too that even when we may not see things in exactly the same way, there are practical things we can do together, for example, speaking out on issues of social justice, food programs, etc. The churches are coming to recognise the value of unity in diversity.


Writing to the divided church in Corinth, St. Paul spells this out quite clearly: “in the one Spirit we have been baptised into one body, Jews or Greeks, slaves or free.” We could well add “Canadian, Chinese, Indigenous, British – or Anglican, Roman Catholic, Baptist, United” – and all other nationalities and identities. In all our diversity, through our baptism we are one Body in Christ.


But we are not all the same, not all uniform. Each individual – person, church, denomination – has its unique gift and identity. St. Paul talks about the different parts of the body to illustrate this – the hand and the foot, the ear and the eye: each has its part to play in the life of the whole; each needs the other for its mutual well-being.


In this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, let us then rejoice in our common baptism, which we share with our fellow Anglicans and all churches around the world. Let us rejoice that together, with all our difference and diversity, we are the Body of Christ, called to be signs and agents of his reconciling love, alive and at work in his world.


Let us be united in the prayer of Jesus in John 17: “Father, as you are in me and I am in you, may they be one in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”


Epiphany Blessings,

Fr. Kevin


Download the service booklet here: Liturgy at Home Epiphany 3 January 23 2022