Hyderabad: Catholics, Protestants unite for service

In a first, all denominations come together for Week of Prayer sermon.

Hyderabad: For the first time, all the church denominations across the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, came together under one roof to celebrate a religious service on Sunday aimed at uniting Christians.

The Federation of Telugu Churches’ ecumenical service at the Lutheran Church — held to observe the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity — saw the participation of several church heads. The two major Christians denomination are Catholics and Protestant. And within the Protestant denomination, there are other communities such as Hebron, Pentecostal, Adventist, Methodist, Lutheran and more.

Though the churches have been meeting every Christmas, this is the first time that all of them, and their heads, have come together for a religious sermon aimed at uniting the different beliefs within the religion. The general theme of the Worship Service was, “reconciliation”. Rev. Dr. Thumma Bala, the Archbishop of Hyderabad and the president of the Federation of Telugu Churches led the service.

A unique wall built out of paper blocks which represented society and personal problems such as pride, religious conflicts, discrimination, a lack of love, false accusations, intolerance. The sermon’s focus was on religious methods that needed to be inculcated to eradicate these issues . Rev. Dr. P. Surya Prakash, the CSI Bishop Emeritus of Karimnagar and former general secretary of FTC spoke at the event. Recalling the milestones in the ecumenical movement and the several agreements reached, he concluded his speech by saying that only “the love of Christ can unite us”.

Meanwhile, another ecumenical service being planned at Guntur — to commemorate the 500th anniversary of reformation and to foster the unity of churches.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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