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March 19, 2017

Muncie faith communities join in prayer service for Christian unity

MUNCIE — A prayer service celebrating the International Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was hosted Jan. 25 in Muncie by Father David Hellmann at St. Lawrence Church.

The service was attended by approximately 100 people from 12 different local churches.

The theme for the service was “Reconciliation — The Love of Christ Compels Us” (2 Cor. 5:14-20).

The Rev. Lenny Corthen of Mt. Zion Baptist Church gave an energetic and impassioned reflection.

His core message was “We are reconciled with God the Father by Jesus; we, the churches, need to be reconciled with one another by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

When asked to share his favorite memory of the event, the Rev. Andre Mitchell of Deliverance Temple in Muncie said, “... It would be the great spirit of unity that was there, the multicultural crowd, as well as the well-thought-out theme of the walls that divide us being torn down and reformed in the shape of the cross — I don’t think that visual will ever leave me.”

Both Rev. Mitchell and Rev. Corthen lead congregations of primarily African- American descent. Both said they pray for the unity envisioned by Jesus in his well- known prayer in John 17:21.

Other community faith leaders participating included: Father Andrew Dudzinski of St. Mary Church, Muncie; the Rev. Josh Holowell of City Faith Fellowship; Jim Schenkel of People of Praise Ecumenical Christian Community, and Deacon Jim Rush, ecumenical/interreligious officer for the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana.

Music during the service was provided by the St. Lawrence School Choir, directed by Jason Hart.

A meal was served after the service at Harvest Soup Kitchen, located half a block from the church.

The soup kitchen is an ecumenical effort staffed by people of many different churches.

The event was organized by Schenkel, who is a member of St. Mary Church in Muncie.

He was aided by members of the Muncie branch of People of Praise.

Information provided.

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