Last January 28, 2017 at Lipa Grace Academy pastors and priests of different denominations all over Southern Tagalog region celebrated the culmination of Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – a yearly activity celebrated around the world that fosters Christian unity among the different denominations of Christianity around the world. Reverend Father Cecil Arce of Roman Catholic Church in Lipa, Batangas gave the homily and hopes the realization of Christian unity among the denominations especially reflecting the upcoming celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation which also and event that creates a great divide among Christians in the birth of Protestantism.
He hopes as the Pope Francis who have joined the Protestant celebration of the anniversary of the Reformation last year would serve as moment of reflection for renewed understanding of the past and will lead for unity and cooperation as Christians. This year’s theme “The love of Christ compels us” was coined by Pope Francis reflecting on the moment of Reformation and challenges us to seek ways of how we Christians from different denominations would seek ways of brotherhood, cooperation and genuine unity.
The event was organized by the Southern Tagalog Region Ecumenical Affairs Movement (STREAM) headed by Rev. Junwel Bueno the Conference Minister of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines of Southern Tagalog Conference. It was attended by pastors from UCCP, UMC, Iglesia Unida Evangelica, International Charismatic Episcopal Church and priests from Apostolic Catholic Church, Iglesia Filipina Indipendiente and the Lutheran Church. The Focolare – a Roman Catholic organization which is active in the ecumincal circles participated in the event with some young people from over all the world. Also present are representatives from the National Churches of Christ in the Philippines.
A luncheon fellowship was held after the worship service and the STREAM held its third regular meeting in the afternoon. Pastors and Priests who composed the Quezon Ecumenical Movement participated also in the event with lay people of Magil UCCP and the representatives of Quezon Youth Ecumenical Movement.