This year, the World Council of Churches will bring worship materials from the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity to people’s smartphones and tablets for the first time.
From 18 to 25 January, Christian churches in the northern hemisphere hold ecumenical services and celebrations as they pray for unity. This year’s theme is “Called to proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord”, taken from 1 Peter 2:9.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is traditionally celebrated between the feasts of St Peter and St Paul. Many countries in the southern hemisphere observe it near Pentecost, another symbolic date of unity. Because of the flexible dates, the World Council of Churches encourages congregations to use the reflection material throughout the year.
By downloading the Bible App, users can read the Week of Prayer reflections, share verses with their social networks and bookmark their favourite Bible passages. The reflections are available in English, French, Spanish, German and Portuguese while the Bible passages can be read in more than 800 different languages.
Rev Dr Odair Pedroso Mateus, World Council of Churches director of Faith and Order, welcomed the new initiative.
“As we search for Christian unity together, the Bible App offers one more way for people to access biblical texts and adapt them in their own local and cultural contexts,” Dr Mateus said.
“As churches and Christian communities observe the week of prayer, it is gratifying that technology, instead of separating us, can instead bring us together with common texts in a format that lends itself to ecumenical settings.”
Crosslight recently looked at the growing use of technology by church leaders and faith communities. Many Uniting Church congregations remarked that social media enables them to connect with people who do not normally attend their Sunday services. Church leaders such as Assembly president Stuart McMillan are also active Twitter users and regularly share their thoughts with their followers.
If you would like to download the Bible App to your phone or tablet, search for ‘Bible App’ on iTunes or Google Play Store. You can also access it on your computer.
Photo from World Council of Churches Facebook page.