Churches unite for celebration and prayer

| 15 Feb 2012 | 11:31

    SPARTA — The Sparta Ecumenical Council held its first Prayer For Christian Unity Celebrations at the First Presbyterian Church Of Sparta on Tuesday, Jan. 17. On the eve of prayer week, there was a prayerful celebration with music provided by the combined choirs of SEC churches. The celebrant was Rev. Bob Malsack, of the First Presbyterian, assisted by Fr. David McDonnell of Our Lady of the Lake. The Homilist was Fr. Pat Rice of Blessed Kateri. The offertory collection went to the food pantry to continue its work in feeding the hungry of Sussex County. There was a second Prayer For Christian Unity Celebration held at Our Lady Of The Lake Church (OLL) 294 Sparta Ave., on Tuesday, Jan. 24. Every year since 1908, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is celebrated from Jan. 18 to 25. This year’s theme was taken from St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians: “We shall be transformed because of the victory of Christ Jesus, our Lord” (see 1 Cor 15:51-58). For more information about the Week of Prayer contact the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute (GE II) - Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. See their Web site at The Sparta Ecumenical Council (SEC) Members, include Blessed Kateri and Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Churches, First Presbyterian Church of Sparta, Institute For Spiritual Development in Sparta, Newton Hospital Center Pastoral Care, Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church, Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, and the Sparta United Methodist Church. The Council is involved in providing many services to our community including a food pantry at First Presbyterian Church serving all of Sussex County, a thrift shop at Sparta United Methodist Church, and blood drives and a migrant ministry at Blessed Kateri Church. For more local information, contact any of the churches in the council.