Canadian Council of Churches - 75 Years

Communities of Prayer: Kitchener, ON

"Where two or three are gathered, I am there."

The WPCU started small in Kitchener, ON.

This piece is part of a series highlighting some of the diverse expressions of the WPCU in communities across Canada. If you feel inspired to share with us about your own community’s experience of the WPCU, please contact Amelia Pahl at 


When Rev. Frank Szatmari left his native Hungary to serve in Canada, he was surprised to realize that the familiar WPCU tradition of weeklong services wouldn’t take root in his new community of Kitchener, ON. “I realized that for some people, it was too much,” he says, “It was quite disappointing, but we do what we can [and we] try our very best.”  

Rev. Szatmari instead brought together a group of ministers from seven denominations, organizing a pulpit exchange for the first Sunday of the WPCU and an ecumenical service at one of the churches on the following Sunday. These ecumenical efforts have expanded to include events throughout the year, such as a Lent choir exchange. 

Efforts like these have led people to observe that the ministers of the area model an unprecedented unity and collaboration. Of course, Rev. Szatmari clarifies, “This comment doesn't say anything about me but says about the unity and love we show in our Lord Jesus Christ... We do the work, and he gives his Spirit for this work.” 

“My hope is that people will realize that the Lord Jesus Christ is uniting us in love. And although we bear different costumes, representing different denominations, we are one and we are going to end up in his glory where there will be no divisions, no religions.”

Rev. Frank Szatmari

When considering the challenges of starting up new events, Rev. Szatmari recalls Jesus' promise to be with even two or three who are gathered in his name. “We should not be afraid that just a few people might show up at the very beginning for a Week of Prayer for Christian Unity,” says Rev. Szatmari, “Because if we simply start this tradition, over the years people will be more familiar with this and they will attend this week as regularly as they might be able.” 

* Rev. Szatmari's comments have been lightly edited for clarity.