Annual event promotes Christian unity
Each year, the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement at Graymoor in Garrison organize and help promote the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which takes place at venues around the world.
The event first took place at Graymoor as the Church Unity Octave in January 1908. Father Paul Wattson and Mother Lurana White, co-founders of the Society of the Atonement at Graymoor, wrote letters and articles encouraging others to pray with them “that all may be one … that the world may believe,” based on John 17:21. In the late 1960s, other prayer movements joined with the Octave to form what is now the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
The theme for 2016 is “Called to Proclaim the Mighty Acts of the Lord” (cf. 1 Peter 2:9). The event begins at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 18, at the Sisters of the Atonement St. Francis Convent; the speaker will be the Rev. Cynthia Major, pastor of the Peekskill United Methodist Church.
At 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 19, the Rev. Robert Johnson of the American Baptist Church and Director of Pastoral Ministries at the Veterans Hospital in Montrose will speak at St. Christopher’s Inn.
On Wednesday, Jan. 20, at 7 p.m., the Rev. Jan Nunley, pastor of St. Peter Episcopal Church in Peekskill, will speak in the fifth-floor library of the St. Pius X Building. The Rev. Gary Battle of the Refugee Church of Christ in Peekskill will speak at the library at the same time on Thursday, Jan. 21.
At 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 22, the Very Rev. Brian F. Terry, minister general of the Friars of the Atonement, will speak at the library, and on Saturday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. the speaker will be the Rev. Agnes Campbell Saffoury from Highland Falls. On Sunday, Jan. 24, at 3 p.m., the Very Rev. Bishop Andrew Dietsche of the Episcopal Diocese of New York will speak at the Peekskill Presbyterian Church. Finally, on Monday, Jan. 25, at 7 p.m., the Rev. Alexi Vinogradov of the Wappingers Falls Orthodox Church will speak at the St. Pius X Building library.