LATROBE, PA – An Ecumenical Christian Unity Service for the worldwide Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will be held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, in the Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica Crypt. The public is invited to the service, which is hosted by the Greater Latrobe Ministerial Association and Saint Vincent College Campus Ministry.
Singers and musicians from area churches will lead the service in song, directed by Sandra Rubright, director of music ministries at Saint Rose and Saint John the Evangelist Churches. Dr. Patricia Sharbaugh, associate professor of theology at Saint Vincent College, will deliver a reflection on the scripture readings.
A light reception will follow in the Saint Vincent Parish Center Assembly Room. The service is sponsored by the Greater Latrobe Ministerial Association and Saint Vincent College Campus Ministry. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity calls upon churches of all faiths together to form a vibrant and prayerful witness for Christian unity by heeding Jesus’s prayer “that they all may be one.” This year’s theme is “They Showed Us Unusual Kindness (cf. Acts 28:2).
Dr. Sharbaugh holds degrees from the University of Pittsburgh (B.A.), Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (M.A.) and Duquesne University (Ph.D.), and specializes in the field of biblical theology. Her research interests include Christology in the Gospel of Matthew, Jewish-Christian dialogue, the theology of the cross and the study of women in scripture.
Among the members of the Greater Latrobe Ministerium who will be taking part in the service are Pastor Mike Bobula of First Church of God in Latrobe; Father Daniel Mahoney, pastor of Holy Family Parish, Latrobe; Father James Podlesny, O.S.B., pastor of Saint Cecilia Parish in Whitney and Sacred Heart Parish in Youngstown; Pastor Sarah Rossing of Saint James Lutheran Church in Youngstown; Pastor Jeff Schock of Trinity Lutheran Church in Latrobe; Pastor Bill Schaefer of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Unity Township; and Pastor Lola Turnbull, Derry First United Methodist Church and Hillside United Methodist Church. Participating from Saint Vincent College Campus Ministry will be Father Killian Loch, O.S.B., director of campus ministry of Saint Vincent College, and Saint Vincent College students.
Father James Loughran, S.A., director of the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute in New York noted that “as we gather annually throughout the world to pray for the unity of Christians we are reminded of the importance of need for ‘unusual kindness’ in the dialogue that leads to growth in unity. We do this in a world where separation and division hinder the quest for Christian unity. In 2020, we are being called to show unusual kindness towards one another.”
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has been held between Jan. 18-25 for more than a century. The days have a symbolic significance that include the feasts of the Chair of Saint Peter (January 18) and the Conversion of Saint Paul (January 25).
PHOTO: Front, from left: Pastor Sarah Rossing of Saint James Lutheran Church, Youngstown; Father James Podlesny, O.S.B., pastor of Saint Cecilia Parish in Whitney and Sacred Heart Parish in Youngstown; Teri Pomerleau, director of social ministry at Saint Vincent Basilica Parish; Rev. Lola J Turnbull, senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Derry and Hillside United Methodist Church, Hillside; Father Daniel Mahoney, pastor of Holy Family Parish, Latrobe; Sandy Rubright, director of music at Saint Rose and Saint John the Evangelist parishes, Latrobe. Back, from left, Rev. Don Graff, retired pastor, Latrobe United Presbyterian Church; Pastor Jeff Schock of Trinity Lutheran Church, Latrobe; Pastor Bill Schaefer of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. Unity Township. The public is invited to the service, which is hosted by the Greater Latrobe Ministerial Association and Saint Vincent College Campus Ministry.
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