MIDDLEBURG – Father Andy Blaszkowski, pastor of St. Luke Catholic Church, and the parish members welcomed area congregations to celebrate a unity prayer service on the occasion of the 500th …
MIDDLEBURG – Father Andy Blaszkowski, pastor of St. Luke Catholic Church, and the parish members welcomed area congregations to celebrate a unity prayer service on the occasion of the 500th Anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation.
Using the theme of “Reconciliation - The Love of Christ Compels Us” taken from 2 Corinthians 5:14-20, worshippers came together for a special time to pray, a special service the Catholic Church has set aside since 1926.
The theme and text for each year’s observance of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity are chosen and prepared by representatives of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and representatives of the World Council of Churches. The international texts are developed, adapted and published for use in the U.S. by the Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute.
Blaszkowski, Rev. Bobby Lewis, pastor of First Baptist Church of Middleburg and Rev. Kevin Collison of Island View Baptist Church in Orange Park joined with congregations from Orange Park United Methodist Church, The Church of the Good Samaritan, Grace Anglican, Church of Eleven 22, Sacred Heart Jacksonville and Mary Queen of Heaven to offer prayers and express hope for unity.
“The measure of following Jesus is love, a love that will manifest itself as unity,” Blaszkowski said in his remarks.
Highlights of the 2017 Unity Prayer service included the building of a wall symbolizing the things which divide us and taking down this wall to form a cross, symbolic of Christ who unites us.
Musicians totaling about 160 from participating churches lent their voices to the service that concluded with a darkened church and over 800 attendees holding candles and singing as one voice.
A collection was taken up for Student Refugee Services of Lutheran Social Services to help bridge the gap in funding as a result of the loss of a long-time state funded grant that it used to operate. Thanks to the generous and open hearts of all those in attendance, the goal of $900 to bridge the gap was exceeded with a collection of $1,183.66.
For more information please contact St. Luke Parish office at 904-282-0439.
St. Luke is located at 1606 Blanding Blvd Middleburg FL 32068.