Bishop Caleb Lawrence of the Moosonee Diocese was in Mistissini recently to help unite the various Christian churches and foster better relations among them.
The various heads of the Baptist, Anglican and Pentecostal churches were “concerned about the way that the different churches don’t seem to be acting in supportive ways in relations to one another,” said Bishop Lawrence. “They asked me to come here and take some services which they would all be invited to attend and try to bring some sense of unity to the Christian witness in Mistissini.”
Bishop Lawrence said that the week of January 22-29 is the week of Prayer for Christian unity, where all Christian denominations are encouraged to meet and worship together. His visit was from January 21-25.
More than 80 worshippers attended the first night, praying for a common understanding. Local minstrels also came to play for the various denominations in the name of peace.
“I hope it’s going to encourage and strengthen the common witness of the Christian church here in Mistissini,” said Bishop Lawrence. “Christians of one denomination sometimes say some very un-Christian things about people whom they should be regarding as brothers and sisters in Christ, but who worship in a different church and have a different emphasis. This is going to help overcome that.”
Bishop Lawrence was also in town to help raise money for the church in Kashechewan. A recent water crisis and jail fire that took the lives of two local men has devastated the community and left the church in a poor financial state.
“The church community is far behind in the kind of support expected from the local population for that ministry. And that ministry has been absolutely critical through this crisis period,” he said.
Bishop Lawrence said the situation was so dire that he called upon the other churches in the Diocese to look over their books and, if they had extra monies, maybe they could give some to Kashechewan’s church.
While in Mistissini, the Bishop, along with Anglican Reverend Iris Montague, helped to raise over $1,100 by asking for donations and holding a bottle drive. The Pentecostal and Baptist churches also had special offerings to raise funds to help pay the Kashechewan church’s bills.
To donate to the church of Kashechewan, send a cheque to:
Kashechewan Ministry 2005
Diocese of Moosonee
P.O. Box 841