The Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs is holding its annual Ecumenical Prayer Service for Christian Unity on Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the Arboretum on the campus of Christ Cathedral. The event, normally scheduled in mid-January during Christian Unity Week, is this year set to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.
According to Fr. Quan Tran, episcopal vicar of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the Diocese of Orange, representatives from 10 different faiths are expected to participate in the service, with as many as 30 clergy participating.
The theme of this year’s service is “From Conflict to Communion: A Journey in Hope.” According to Fr. Tran, the service will include readings from scripture and reflections from Bishop Vann and Bishop Andrew Taylor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.
“We’ll reflect on our division, and progress we have made to heal that division, and the need to continue working for full communion,” said Fr. Tran.
Also participating will be Rev. John Huffman, pastor emeritus at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach.
“It is difficult to believe that it has been over three decades since I spoke representing the Protestant community at an ecumenical/interfaith service held by Dr. Robert Schuller as part of the dedication of the Crystal Cathedral,” Rev. Huffman said. He added, “I count it a privilege to accept my friend Bishop Vann’s invitation to be part of this special Ecumenical Prayer Service on Oct. 18. I, as a faithful follower of Jesus, (and as one) who wears the name Presbyterian, find that I have much more in common with my faithful Catholic brothers and sisters than with some of my Protestant colleagues who deny some of the great historic doctrines of the faith. My visits to Rome as a guest of the Vatican for 15 days in 1975, my recent visit again three years ago to participate in the Interfaith Colloquium on the Family, and my warm relationships with Catholic colleagues during my pastorates in Tulsa, Miami, Pittsburgh and for the last 39 years in Orange County, have only intensified my deep appreciation for our oneness in faith. Now to have this service during the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation only reinforces these feelings.”