Holy Family Residence had a jump start in the New Year with our Christian Unity Service. It was a great time for our Residents, volunteers, staff and visitors gathering to pray for Christian Unity. Our Savior Jesus Christ desires so much that we all be one.
Reverend John Snider, from St Stephen’s Lutheran church, Reverend Walt Wietzke from St Mark’s Lutheran church, and Fr. James Peterson Parochial Vicar from St Odilia Catholic church were our three ministers on hand to conduct the service.
Our prayer service was prepared from Canada in union with some of the traditions of the indigenous people in Canada. We were invited to be aware of the compass points (north, south, east and west) so the worshipping congregation could turn as the prayer unfolded.Our leader Reverend John Snider began, having the Congregation turn to the East. It was amazing how the Residents followed it.
As we were facing each direction as indicated:
From the East, the direction of the rising sun, we receive peace and light and wisdom and knowledge.Respond: We are grateful for these gifts, O God.
From the South, comes the warmth, guidance, and the beginning and the end of life.
From the West, comes the rain and purifying waters to sustain all living things.
From the North, comes the cold and mighty wind and the white snows, giving us strength and endurance.
From the heavens we receive darkness and light and the air of your breath.
When it came time for the sign of Peace: our response was is in French “Don de Dieu” (Gift of God) to one another. The Residents all commented, “it is never too late to learn something new. I can say a French word.” It was a beautiful service. All were happy at the end to share the “Don de Dieu” of hot chocolate and cookies for fellowship.