01/12/2007, 00.00
HONG KONG

Christian Churches in Hong Kong want to live the unity of faith

Ahead of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the Territory’s Christian denominations admit that inter-Christian competition sometimes prevents them from bearing witness to the one Lord; hence their call for unity.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – The services that the various Christian Churches in Hong Kong provide society “are many, yet their mission is diverse” and competition among them sometimes prevents “us from bearing witness that the Lord our God is one”. “With one heart and one mind;” instead they want to show their “unity of faith by expressing the love and care of Christ to the needy in our society in Hong Kong and throughout the world”.

This is the thrust of the joint message released today by the Territory’s Christian Churches in preparation of the Week of Prayer for Christian unity which begins January 18. The prayer’s focus will be: “He has done all things well; they said he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak” (Mark 7:37).

The message was signed by the Diocesan Ecumenical Commission of the Hong Kong Catholic Church, the Church Unity and Relations Committee of the Hong Kong Christian Council, and the Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and South East Asia.

Here is its full text:

“We, as the Church, are called by God to be united together as the Body of Christ. We all belong to Christ and are sent by him to proclaim the wonderful deeds of God which we have seen and heard. Hence, the Church is a blessed body of faith with the call to bring the blessing to others.

“Our Lord Jesus Christ has set an example of compassion. He cares for those who are in difficulty and helps the needy ones. The scripture says, “He has done all things well; they said, he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak” (Mark 7:37). Therefore, the Church should seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to love the poor and the weak as Christ did.

“Whenever the hardship of under-privileged communities has been recognised, the Churches extend their help and service. Those services include medical care, education, relief, caring, shelters, mentoring and reconciliation. Some of these services are funded by the Churches themselves and some by public funds. In fact, the Churches have gained credibility in society through these services.

“The services of the Churches are many, yet their mission is diverse. Competition is sometimes evident among ourselves, preventing us from bearing witness that the Lord our God is one. St. Paul said, “There are all sorts of services to be done, but always to the same Lord working in all of sorts of different ways in different people, it is the same God who is working in all of them. The particular way in which the Spirit is given to each person is for a good purpose” (I Corinthians 12:4-6).

“With one heart and one mind, let us show our unity of faith by expressing the love and care of Christ to the needy in our society in Hong Kong and throughout the world. Through visible services, we bring a visible testimony that we are one in Christ. “All that exists comes from him; all is by him and for him. To him be glory for ever! Amen.”

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