Christian Unity Week Celebrates Unity of Different Denominations

January 6, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On January 6, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported on Christian Unity Week, which begins Jan. 18 with a concert in Orange County. "The unity week will feature eight days of prayer and two programs designed to bring together Christian denominations." The Times calls the event "a promising truce in the bitter near-1,000-year family squabble between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches....The Great Schism of 1054 between the Roman Catholic church in the West and the Orthodox church in the East arose after centuries of bickering over doctrinal differences. The final split occurred when the Eastern church, governed by bishops, refused to acknowledge the Roman papacy." This year a record six major denominations (Catholic, Orthodox, Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian and Methodist) planned the unity event, compared to two denominations last year. Orange County's nondenominational megachurches, however, did not participate, "primarily out of concern that their doctrine will be diluted....Christian Unity Week will include a free panel discussion among Anglican, Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Presbyterian leaders," which organizers predict "will touch on topics such as female priests, homosexuality, abortion, capital punishment and euthanasia...Throughout the week, Christians worldwide will be encouraged to pray for the unity of the church, using specific Scripture readings as a guide." The week will end with an evening of "shared prayers, music, Scripture readings and a sermon."