Christian Unity virtual prayer service, luncheon on Jan. 21

Kent Weeklies

In celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Hudson churches are planning the annual interdenominational prayer service scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 21 at 10 a.m.

While First Congregational Church of Hudson is this year’s host church, the event will be completely virtual, due to COVID-19. The ecumenical prayer service will be led by local clergy. They will pre-record the service which will be broadcast the day of the event online on First Congregational Church of Hudson Facebook Live page, YouTube or HCTV.

The 2021 theme verse is, "Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit” (John 15: 5- 9). The Rev. Doug Fidler, Rejoice Lutheran Church, Hudson, will give the sermon. This year’s theme was discerned by the Monastic Community of Grandchamp in Switzerland and finds its origins in the Gospel of John. The Monastic Community of Grandchamp prepared drafts of the background and worship materials. These documents subsequently were finalized during an international group meeting sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the International Committee of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches at Grandchamp in September, 2019.

Instead of ”purchasing a ticket” this year through a Hudson church, you will ”register” online for the event, using the link listed below. You will provide your contact information and have an opportunity to give your offering by credit card or by mailing a check. This year the offering will be divided between these organizations:

• Hudson Community Service Association Food Pantry (local option)

• Akron Canton Food bank (regional option)

• World Central Kitchen* (international option) *World Central Kitchen is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization devoted to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters. More information can be found on their website,

Instead of the traditional luncheon after the service, there will be an opportunity to purchase a box lunch when you register. Box lunches will be prepared by Nosh Catering in Hudson and delivered to First Congregational Church of Hudson (or your home church) the day before the event. You can pick it up there on Wed., Jan 20 - check with them for a pickup time. (330-650-4048).

After the prayer service, those who wish to participate will have received an email link to join a Zoom group to eat lunch together and have some time for fellowship. You do not have to buy a box lunch to participate. You are welcome to make your own lunch, or just join the Zoom group with your coffee or tea. The prayer service is free and open to all; participants only need to register to receive the information and links about how to log in to view the service. The registration link is Lunch reservation deadline is Jan. 13.

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has been celebrated throughout the world since 1908 and has been celebrated in Hudson since 1968. The Christian Unity Prayer Service brings the churches from our community together through prayer and praise, reflecting the prayer of Jesus Christ, “That all might be one” (John 17:21). Representatives from the following organizations have participated in planning this event: Christ Church Episcopal, First Congregational Church of Hudson, Hudson United Methodist Church, Laurel Lake Retirement Community, Rejoice! Lutheran Church, St. Mary Parish, and Western Reserve Christian Church.