December 18, 2020

That All May Be One / Fr. Rick Ginther

Virtual events to highlight religious diversity in Indiana

Fr. Rick GintherVirtual reality has become reality, it would seem—ecumenically and inter-religiously! Two such virtual events are coming our way here in central and southern Indiana.

The first is a documentary: “To Know Your Neighbor—Celebrating Religious Diversity in Indiana.” A co-production of the Center for Interfaith Cooperation and WFYI-TV Channel 20, it will air at 4 p.m. on Dec. 27 on WFYI.

The documentary will explore religious diversity in our community.

There are more than 10 unique faith traditions and a myriad of religious denominations that call central Indiana home. These many beautiful faiths, traditions, cultures and communities combine to make central Indiana vibrant and diverse.

Jill Ditmire of WFYI and Charlie Wiles, CEO of the Center for Interfaith Cooperation, will co-host. Viewers will be exposed to a montage of varied interreligious gatherings, local sacred worship sites and interviews with respective religious leaders.

It will be a “packed” one hour worth viewing.

The second virtual event is the 2021 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Service. Filmed on location at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis, this annual service will bring together many of the leaders of varied Christian denominations.

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson will be the primary presider as well as preacher for this year’s service. Music will be provided by Andrew Motyka, director of archdiocesan and cathedral liturgical music.

The prayer service will be available online through a variety of denominational websites. The connection for Catholics will be through the archdiocesan Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs’ web page, www.archindy.org/ecumenism, and the website for Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Indianapolis, www.ollindy.org/church-home.

The prayer service will be available on Jan. 25, the last day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

The theme of this year’s prayer is “Abide in My Love. … You Shall Bear Much Fruit.”

The theme was discerned by the Monastic Community of Grandchamp in Switzerland and finds its origins in the Gospel of John (cf. John 15:5-9).

The community prepared working drafts of the background and worship service. These documents subsequently were finalized during an international group meeting sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the International Committee of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches at Grandchamp in September 2019.

Grandchamp Monastery was established in the Reformed Church in Grandchamp in the 1930s. The monastic community had close ties to the Community of Taizé and Abbé Paul Couturier, a seminal figure in the history of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Today, the community comprises 50 sisters from different generations, Christian traditions, countries and continents. Its vocational call is prayer, reconciliation and Christian unity, the human family and the whole of creation.

In choosing the 2021 theme, the Community of Grandchamp desired to share the experience and wisdom of their contemplative life abiding in the love of God and keeping his commandment of “loving one another as he has loved us.”

They remind Christians worldwide about the importance of praying for the fruits of closer communion with our brothers and sisters in Christ and greater solidarity with the whole of creation.

I heartily invite you to join virtually both moments of diversity wedded to unity.
 

(Father Rick Ginther is director of the archdiocesan Office of Ecumenism and Interreligious Affairs. He is also the pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Indianapolis.)

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