Archive for tag: 2008

Archive pour tag : 2008

Pray without ceasing: 2008 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

“Pray without ceasing” is the theme of the 2008 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Celebrated in Canada from January 20 to 27th, this year the theme is drawn from the St. Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians (I Th. 5:17). Paul’s encouragement to pray without ceasing is particularly apt for this year’s Week of Prayer which commemorates the 100th anniversary of this annual observance.

The materials from the 2008 WPCU international resource package are available for download in PDF format. Adapt these materials in your own settings, and print the worship service freely in your own church bulletins.

Worship services and other events are scheduled across Canada and around the world. Events are listed on this website for Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Saskatoon, Victoria, and Winnipeg. If you would like us to list your WPCU event in Canada, please email the webeditor.
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Posted: January 9, 2008 • Permanent link: https://ecumenism.net/?p=403
Categories: NewsIn this article: 2008, Canada, prayer, WPCU
Transmis : 9 janvier 2008 • Lien permanente : https://ecumenism.net/?p=403
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : 2008, Canada, prayer, WPCU


Week of Prayer, day 1: Pray always

The 2008 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is being observed in Canada from January 20 to 27th. The theme is taken from I Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.”

One resource for the Week is a series of biblical reflections for the 8 days. Today’s reflection for Day 1 has been posted on our website.
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Posted: January 20, 2008 • Permanent link: https://ecumenism.net/?p=407
Categories: NewsIn this article: 2008, prayer, WPCU
Transmis : 20 janvier 2008 • Lien permanente : https://ecumenism.net/?p=407
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : 2008, prayer, WPCU


Week of Prayer, day 2: Pray always, trusting God alone

The 2008 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is being observed in Canada from January 20 to 27th. The theme is taken from I Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.”

One resource for the Week is a series of biblical reflections for the 8 days. Today’s reflection for Day 2 has been posted on our website.

Give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thess 5: 18)

1 Kings 18:20-40 • The Lord indeed is God
Ps 23 • The Lord is my shepherd
1 Thess 5: (12a)13b-18 • Give thanks in all circumstances
Jn 11:17-44 • Father, I thank you for having heard me

Commentary

Praying is rooted in the trust that God is powerful and faithful. God alone is the one who holds all in his hands, the present and the future. His word is credible and truthful.

The story of Elijah in 1 Kings impressively demonstrates the oneness of God. Elijah berates the apostates who worship Baal, who is not answering their prayers. Yet when Elijah prays to the one God of Israel, the response is immediate and miraculous. Realizing this, the people turned their hearts back to God.

Psalm 23 is a profound confession of trust. It depicts a person who believes that God guides him and stays with him also in the darkness of life and in situations of desolation and oppression.

We may find circumstances that may be difficult, even turbulent. We may have moments of despair and resignation. Sometimes we feel that God is hidden. But he is not absent. He will manifest his power to liberate in the midst of human struggle. Thus we give thanks to him in all circumstances.

The raising of Lazarus from the dead is one of the most dramatic scenes recorded in John’s gospel. It is a manifestation of Christ’s power to break the bonds of death and an anticipation of the new creation. In the presence of the people Jesus prays aloud, thanking his Father for the mighty deeds he will do. God’s saving work is accomplished through Christ so that all will come to believe.

The ecumenical pilgrimage is a way in which we realize the wondrous deeds of God. Christian communities which have been separated from each other come together. They discover their unity in Christ and come to understand that they are each part of one church and need one another.

The vision of unity can be darkened. It is sometimes threatened by frustrations and tensions. The question may arise whether we Christians are truly called to stay together. Our continuous praying sustains us as we look to God and trust in him. We are confident that he is still at work in us and will lead us to the light of his victory. His kingdom begins with our reconciliation and growing unity.

Prayer

God of all creation, hear your children as we pray. Help us keep our faith and trust in you. Teach us to give thanks in all circumstances, relying on your mercy. Give us truth and wisdom, that your church may arise to new life in one fellowship. You alone are our hope. Amen.

***

Source: 2008 Resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity jointly prepared and published by the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches.
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Posted: January 21, 2008 • Permanent link: https://ecumenism.net/?p=408
Categories: NewsIn this article: 2008, prayer, WPCU
Transmis : 21 janvier 2008 • Lien permanente : https://ecumenism.net/?p=408
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : 2008, prayer, WPCU


Week of Prayer, day 3: Pray without ceasing for the conversion of hearts

The 2008 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is being observed in Canada from January 20 to 27th. The theme is taken from I Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.”

One resource for the Week is a series of biblical reflections for the 8 days. Today’s reflection for Day 3 has been posted on our website.

Admonish the idlers, encourage the faint-hearted (1Thess 5 : 14)

Jon 3: 1-10 • The repentance of Nineveh
Ps 51: 8-15 • Create a pure heart in me
1 Thess 5: (12a)13b-18 • Encourage the faint-hearted
Mk 11: 15-17 • A house of prayer

Commentary

In the beginning and at the heart of the ecumenical enterprise can be found a pressing call to repentance and to conversion. We sometimes need to know how to call each other to task within our Christian communities as Paul invites us to do in the first epistle to the Thessalonians. If one or the other causes division, he should be rebuked; if some are afraid of all that a difficult reconciliation could imply, they should be encouraged.

Why hide the fact? If divisions between Christians exist, it is also through a lack of will to be committed to ecumenical dialogue and even, simply, to prayer for unity.

The Bible tells us how God sent Jonah to rebuke Nineveh and how the whole city repented. In the same way, Christian communities must listen to the Word of God and repent. In the course of the last century, we have not been lacking in prophets of unity who have made Christians aware of the unfaithfulness manifest in our divisions and reminding them of the urgency of reconciliation.

In the image of the vigorous intervention of Jesus in the temple, the call to Christian reconciliation can seriously call into question our narrow self-understanding. We too have a great need of purification. We need to know how to rid our hearts of all that prevents them from being a true house of prayer, concerned for the unity of all peoples.

Prayer

Lord you desire truth deep-down within us: in the secret of our hearts, you teach us wisdom. Teach us to encourage each other along the road to unity. Show us the conversion necessary for reconciliation. Give to each of us a new, truly ecumenical heart, we pray you. Amen.

***

Source: 2008 Resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity jointly prepared and published by the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches.
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Posted: January 22, 2008 • Permanent link: https://ecumenism.net/?p=410
Categories: NewsIn this article: 2008, prayer, WPCU
Transmis : 22 janvier 2008 • Lien permanente : https://ecumenism.net/?p=410
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : 2008, prayer, WPCU


Week of Prayer, day 4: Pray always for justice

The 2008 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is being observed in Canada from January 20 to 27th. The theme is taken from I Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.”

One resource for the Week is a series of biblical reflections for the 8 days. Today’s reflection for Day 4 has been posted on our website.

See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all (1 Thess 5: 15)

Ex 3: 1-12 • God hears the cry of the Israelites
Ps 146 • The Lord…secures justice for the oppressed
1 Thess 5: (12a) 13b-18 • See that none of you repays evil for evil
Mt 5: 38-42 • Offer no resistance to one who is evil

Commentary

Together as God’s people, we are called to pray for justice. God hears the cry of the oppressed, the needy, the orphan and the widow. God is a God of justice and answers with his Son, Jesus Christ, who commands us to work together in unity through peace and not through violence. Paul also emphasizes this in the words “see that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all”.

Christians pray without ceasing for justice, that every single human person will be treated with dignity and given a fair share in this world. In the United States of America, the injustice of the slavery of Africans ended only with a bloodletting civil war, followed by a century of state-sponsored racism. Even the churches were segregated according to colour. Sadly, racism and other forms of bigotry, such as fear of the alien, still linger in American life.

Yet it was through the efforts of the churches, particularly the African-American churches and their ecumenical partners, and most especially through the non-violent resistance of the Rev. Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, that civil rights for all were enshrined in American law. His deeprooted conviction that only Christ-like love truly conquers hate and brings about the transformation of society continues to inspire Christians, drawing them together to work for justice. Dr King’s birthday is a national holiday in the USA. Each year, it falls either just before or within the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

God heard and responded to the cries of the Israelites. God continues to hear and respond to the cries of all who are oppressed. Jesus reminds us that God’s justice is embodied in his own willingness to sacrifice his own security, his own power and prestige and his very life to bring to our world the justice and reconciliation through which all human beings are treated as equal in worth and dignity.

It is only as we hear and respond to the cries of the oppressed that we can move forward together on the road to unity. This also applies to the ecumenical movement, where we may be required to “go the extra mile” in our willingness to listen to one another, reject vindictiveness and act in charity.

Prayer

Lord God, you created humanity, male and female, in the divine image. May we pray without ceasing and with one mind and heart that those who are hungry in our world will be nourished, that those who are oppressed will be freed, that all human persons will be treated with dignity; and may we be your instruments in making this yearning a reality. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

***

Source: 2008 Resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity jointly prepared and published by the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches.
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Posted: January 23, 2008 • Permanent link: https://ecumenism.net/?p=411
Categories: NewsIn this article: 2008, prayer, WPCU
Transmis : 23 janvier 2008 • Lien permanente : https://ecumenism.net/?p=411
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : 2008, prayer, WPCU


Week of Prayer, day 5: Pray constantly with a patient heart

The 2008 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is being observed in Canada from January 20 to 27th. The theme is taken from I Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.”

One resource for the Week is a series of biblical reflections for the 8 days. Today’s reflection for Day 5 has been posted on our website.

Be patient with all of them (Thess 5: 14)

Ex 17: 1-4 • Why?
Ps 1 • Yield fruit in its season
1 Thess 5: (12a) 13b-18 • Be patient with all of them
Lk 18: 9-14 • A humble prayer

Commentary

We cannot be complacent about the divisions between Christians and we are rightly impatient for the day of our reconciliation to come about. But we must also be conscious that ecumenical effort is not sustained at the same rhythm everywhere. Some go forward in leaps and bounds, others are more prudent. As Paul exhorts, we must be patient with everybody.

Like the Pharisee in prayer, we can easily come before God with the arrogance of those who do all things well: “I am not like other people”. If we are sometimes tempted to denounce the slowness or rashness of the members of our church or those of our ecumenical dialogue partners, the invitation to be patient sounds an important and timely warning.

Sometimes it is towards God that we show our impatience. Like the people in the desert, we sometimes question him: why do we have to continue this painful journey if it is all to no use? Let us stay confident. God responds to our prayers, in his own way and his own time. He will create new ways, to meet today’s needs, of bringing Christians together.

Prayer

Lord, make us your disciples, attentive to your Word, day and night. On our journey towards unity, give us hope for fruit in due season. When prejudices and suspicion seem to dominate, we pray you, give us the humble patience necessary for reconciliation. Amen.

***

Source: 2008 Resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity jointly prepared and published by the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches.
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Posted: January 24, 2008 • Permanent link: https://ecumenism.net/?p=412
Categories: NewsIn this article: 2008, prayer, WPCU
Transmis : 24 janvier 2008 • Lien permanente : https://ecumenism.net/?p=412
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : 2008, prayer, WPCU


Week of Prayer, day 6: Pray always for grace to work with God

The 2008 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is being observed in Canada from January 20 to 27th. The theme is taken from I Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.”

One resource for the Week is a series of biblical reflections for the 8 days. Today’s reflection for Day 6 has been posted on our website.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing (1 Thess 5: 16)

2 Sam 7: 18-29 • David’s prayer of praise and rejoicing
Ps 86 • Incline your ear, O Lord
1 Thess 5:(12a) 13b-18 • Rejoice always
Lk 10: 1-24 • The sending of the seventy-two

Commentary

In prayer we are aligning our wills to the will of God and so participating in the fulfilment of his purpose. We need the Holy Spirit to change the hearts of believers, so that we have the grace to work with God and become part of his mission and his goal of unity. As we pray for this without ceasing we are aware that “more workers are needed for the harvest”. At many ecumenical gatherings, and particularly at the annual National Workshop on Christian Unity in the USA, it is recognized that if the ecumenical movement is to prosper today and in the next generation, more young people need to be drawn into it. We need more workers to experience the joy of praying to be part of the work of God.

The readings for Day 6 give us insight into what it means to work for the sake of the gospel. David, amazed that he might be part of the plan to build a magnificent temple for the Lord, asks, “Can God indeed dwell on earth?” then concludes, “Now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you”.

The psalmist prays, “Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name. I will give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever”.

In the sending of the seventy-two, Jesus confirms that through his disciples, and those who would come to believe in him through their word, his peace and the news that “the kingdom of God has come near to you” would be proclaimed to the world. At their joyful return, despite rejection, Jesus rejoices at their success in the submission of the evil spirits in his name: the message is never to cease, never to give up.

God’s will is for his people to be one. Like the Christians in Thessalonika, we are urged to “rejoice always” and “pray without ceasing”, trusting that as we commit ourselves wholly to working with God, his purpose of unity will finally be fulfilled.

Prayer

Lord God, in the perfect unity of your being, keep our hearts so burning with the desire and hope for unity that we will never stop working for the sake of your gospel. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

***

Source: 2008 Resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity jointly prepared and published by the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches.
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Posted: January 25, 2008 • Permanent link: https://ecumenism.net/?p=414
Categories: NewsIn this article: 2008, prayer, WPCU
Transmis : 25 janvier 2008 • Lien permanente : https://ecumenism.net/?p=414
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : 2008, prayer, WPCU


Week of Prayer, day 7: Pray for what we need

The 2008 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is being observed in Canada from January 20 to 27th. The theme is taken from I Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.”

One resource for the Week is a series of biblical reflections for the 8 days. Today’s reflection for Day 7 has been posted on our website.

… help the weak (1 Thess 5: 14)

1 Sam 1: 9-20 • Hannah prays for a son
Ps 86 • Listen to my cry of supplication
1 Thess 5: (12a)13b-18 • We urge you… to help the weak
Lk 11: 5-13 • Ask and it will be given you

Commentary

Unable to bear a child and in great distress, Hannah prayed to God for a son and in due time, her prayers were answered and Samuel (which means I have asked him of the Lord) was born. In Luke’s gospel, we read that Jesus himself tells us to “ask and it shall be given” and in our need, we turn to God in prayer. The response may not be what we expect but God always responds.

The power of prayer is immense, especially when linked to service. From the gospels, we know that Christ wants us to love and serve one another. In Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, the theme of service is taken up in the imperative: “help the weak”. We do not find it impossible to respond ecumenically in a practical way to people’s weakness or distress; churches of different traditions often work hand in hand. But their witness in some situations is seriously weakened by their division, and when we want to pray together, we are sometimes deeply suspicious of the different prayer forms we encounter in Christian traditions other than our own: Roman Catholic prayers which are addressed to God through the saints or Mary the mother of Jesus; Orthodox liturgical prayers; Pentecostal prayers; the spontaneous, Protestant prayers which address God in direct, everyday language.

There are signs however of a new consideration of different forms of prayer. Within American churches, the experience of Pentecostal renewal has also led to a greater appreciation of the power of prayer and Pentecostals have begun to feel more comfortable in the ecumenical movement. Discussions with the Orthodox churches in the World Council of Churches have led to greater appreciation of each other’s prayer forms.

Without doubt, confidence in the power of prayer is common to all our traditions and has rich potential to further the cause of Christian unity – once we can understand and overcome our differences. We should give prayerful support to the dialogues which seek to address those differences among our churches and which prevent us from coming together at the Lord’s table. Praying together that prayer of remembrance and thanksgiving would allow a great stride to be taken along the road to unity.

Prayer

Help us, Lord, to be truly one in praying for the healing of our world, for the mending of divisions in our churches, and of ourselves. May we not doubt that you hear and will answer us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

***

Source: 2008 Resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity jointly prepared and published by the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches.
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Posted: January 26, 2008 • Permanent link: https://ecumenism.net/?p=415
Categories: NewsIn this article: 2008, prayer, WPCU
Transmis : 26 janvier 2008 • Lien permanente : https://ecumenism.net/?p=415
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : 2008, prayer, WPCU


Week of Prayer, day 8: Pray always that they all may be one

The 2008 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is being observed in Canada from January 20 to 27th. The theme is taken from I Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.”

One resource for the Week is a series of biblical reflections for the 8 days. Today’s reflection for Day 8 has been posted on our website.

Be at peace (I Thess 5:13b)

Is 11: 6-13 • The wolf shall live with the lamb
Ps 122 • Peace be within your walls
1 Thess 5: (12a) 13b-18 • Be at peace among yourselves
Jn 17: 6-24 • That they all may be one

Commentary

God’s desire for human beings is that we live in peace with one another. This peace is not only an absence of war or conflict; the shalom desired by God is that which arises from a reconciled humanity, a human family which participates in and embodies the peace which God alone can give. Isaiah’s image of the wolf living with the lamb, the leopard lying down with the kid, offers an imaginative glimpse of the future God desires for us. While this shalom is not something that we can create on our own, we are called to be instruments of the Lord’s peace, artisans of God’s reconciling work. Peace, like unity, is a gift and a calling.

Jesus’ plea for the unity of his disciples did not take the form of a commandment or a request. It took the form of a prayer, words lifted up before the Father on the night before Jesus was put to death. It is a prayer which rises from the depths of his heart and of his mission, as he prepares his disciples for all that is to come: Father, may they all be one.

As we mark the 100th anniversary of the Octave/Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, celebrating it within the context of the yearnings, prayers and initiatives for the unity of Christians through the centuries, we do well to take stock of where we are on this Spirit-led journey. It is a time to give thanks for the many fruits of prayer for unity. In many places, animosity and misunderstanding have given way to respect and friendship between Christians and Christian communities. Christians who have gathered together to pray for unity have often joined together in acts of common witness to the gospel, and worked side by side in serving those in great need. Dialogue has assisted in building bridges of understanding, and has led to the resolution of some of the doctrinal differences which have separated us.

Yet it is also a time to repent, for in our divisions we continue to stand under the judgement of Jesus’ prayer for unity and Paul’s imperative that we be at peace among ourselves. In the present day, Christians are publicly divided on many issues: in addition to our ongoing doctrinal differences, we are often at odds with each other on moral and ethical questions, on matters of war and peace, on current issues where common witness is called for. Internally divided and in conflict with each other, we fall short of the lofty calling to be signs and instruments of the unity and peace willed by God.

What then shall we say? There is reason to rejoice, and cause for sorrow. It is a moment to give thanks for those of past generations who have spent themselves generously at the service of reconciliation, and a time to recommit ourselves to be artisans of the unity and peace which Christ desires. And it is a time to ponder again what it means to pray always, through our words and deeds, through the lives of our churches.

Prayer

Lord, make us one: one in our words, that a single reverent prayer might rise before you; one in our yearning and pursuit of justice; one in love, serving you by serving the least of our sisters and brothers; one in longing for your face. Lord, make us one in you. Amen

***

Source: 2008 Resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity jointly prepared and published by the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches.
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Posted: January 27, 2008 • Permanent link: https://ecumenism.net/?p=416
Categories: NewsIn this article: 2008, prayer, WPCU
Transmis : 27 janvier 2008 • Lien permanente : https://ecumenism.net/?p=416
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : 2008, prayer, WPCU


Multifaith Reflection on Restorative Justice

Multifaith Reflection on Restorative Justice

Across Canada, the theme for Restorative Justice Week 2008 is “Fostering a Restorative Worldview”. In Saskatoon, the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism is hosting a symposium entitled “A Multifaith Reflection on Restorative Justice … an evening of shared perspectives”. The symposium will be held Wednesday, November 19th at Knox United Church (Spadina Crescent & 24th Street) from 6 to 9:30 pm.

A meatless supper wil be shared at 6 pm, with a panel of speakers at 7 pm: Claire Ewert Fisher (Christian), Cantor Neil Schwartz (Jewish), a representative from the Islamic Association of Saskatoon, and Harvey Thunderchild (Traditional Aboriginal).

Registration: $15 before November 12th, or $18 after November 12th, $8 under-waged. Students free if registered in advance, or $8 at door. Doors open for registration at 5:15 pm. Register by cheque, payable and sent to: Prairie Centre for Ecumenism, 600 – 45th Street West, Saskatoon, SK S7L 5W9. It is necessary to know in advance if registrants plan to attend the supper. For more information call 306-653-1633.
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Posted: November 6, 2008 • Permanent link: https://ecumenism.net/?p=517
Categories: NewsIn this article: 2008, interfaith, justice, multifaith, Prairie Centre for Ecumenism, restorative justice, Saskatoon
Transmis : 6 novembre 2008 • Lien permanente : https://ecumenism.net/?p=517
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : 2008, interfaith, justice, multifaith, Prairie Centre for Ecumenism, restorative justice, Saskatoon


Interfaith Gathering for Peace

Join the Saskatoon faith communities on December 31st for candle lighting, quiet music, reflections, and prayer for peace. An annual tradition in Saskatoon, the interfaith Gathering for Peace is held at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Spadina Crescent and 22nd Street East on New Year’s Eve at 7:30 pm. This year, the theme is “Combating poverty, Building Peace”.

The evening begins with candle lighting and quiet reflection, followed by song, readings from various religious texts, and reflections from the multi-faith community. The evening ends with a time for fellowship with hot apple cider and cookies.

Please join us at 7:30 pm on New Year’s Eve at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Everyone, of all religious traditions, is welcome.
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Posted: December 22, 2008 • Permanent link: https://ecumenism.net/?p=539 In this article: 2008, interfaith, multifaith, peace, prayer, Saskatoon Transmis : 22 décembre 2008 • Lien permanente : https://ecumenism.net/?p=539 Dans cet article : 2008, interfaith, multifaith, peace, prayer, Saskatoon