WelCom May 2023
Do good; seek justice.’ – Isaiah 1:17
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is an ecumenical Christian observance celebrated internationally. This year it is celebrated from 21–28 May 2023 in New Zealand.
Each year a group in a different part of the world is invited to develop resources for the Week. The World Council of Churches and the Holy See’s Dicastery for Christian Unity jointly oversee their preparation. The final material is sent to Catholic bishops’ conferences and to WCC member churches and they are invited to translate the text and adapt it for their own use.
The theme for 2023 was chosen – and the materials prepared – by a group convened by the Minnesota Council of Churches in the United States.
The theme is ‘Do good; seek justice’ (Isaiah 1:17) and represents the prophet Isaiah teaching us how we are to cure such ills as injustice, inequity and inequality. Pope Francis asks we each give thanks to the Lord ‘who faithfully and patiently guides his people towards full communion, and to ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten and sustain us with his gifts.’
The Order of Worship has been adapted for use in Aotearoa New Zealand by members of the National Dialogue for Christian Unity (NDCU). Its member churches are Anglicans, Catholics, Methodists, Presbyterians, and the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).
The resources are on the New Zealand Catholic bishops’ website and are available for parishes, schools, and any group to download and use. The resources include:
• Introduction to the Week of Prayer;
• Order of Worship adapted for Aotearoa New Zealand;
• Eight Days of Prayer – particularly suitable for individuals;
• Pope Francis’ opening and closing Homilies for Week of Prayer 2023;
• Jpeg slides for social media and similar.