Canadian Council of Churches - 75 Years

Parting Reflection from the WPCU Program Assistant

Amelia Pahl, the WPCU Program Assistant, finishes her two-year contract in June 2022. Over the last two years, Amelia connected with many local WPCU organizers and theological schools, prepared a monthly newsletter, and contributed to Canadian WPCU resources and website. Now, having graduated from Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg this spring, Amelia plans to move to Montréal with her partner to pursue a Master of Divinity through the Montréal School of Theology. We are deeply grateful for her work and wisdom and wish her all the best as she continues her ecumenical journey! 


Dear friends, 

After two years working as the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Program Assistant for The Canadian Council of Churches, I can only say that I am so very grateful to have had this opportunity to get to know the many communities that celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in Canada.  

These two years have been a challenging time as we live through the COVID-19 pandemic and wrestle with the ensuing changes to our congregations, parishes, and communities. These days, it is often hard to see the road ahead, and the world’s divisions seem only to worsen as the months and years pass. 

Nevertheless, one lesson that I have learned anew in my work with the WPCU is that the Body of Christ is diverse, creative, and tenacious. As we adapt to changing political, economic, and technological landscapes, our ways of praying, serving, and being in community with one another must also adapt. 

Of course, the work of adaptation is not linear. Many of you have shared with me that your communities are faltering, unsure about the future of ecumenism or even the Church. None of us knows what ‘new normal’ will establish itself on the other side of the world’s current upheavals, nor do we know when.  

But there are also signs of hope.  

I feel hope upon hearing your stories about communities inspired to act for justice by supporting a local non-profit after praying together for Christian unity.  

I feel hope when I hear about communities that have used their online platform to invite Christians across Canada to join them in praying for unity.  

I feel hope when I see the sparkle in your eyes as you imagine what communities fully transformed by Christian unity might look like. 

I feel hope when your stories remind me that God works with things that are small—faith the size of a mustard seed, gatherings of only two or three people—to lay the foundations of peace and justice in the world. 

So, as much as the future of the contemporary ecumenical movement is unknown, I am grateful to have had these two years to walk alongside you, hear your stories, and imagine with you what a flourishing Church might look like. Your deep love for the Church has inspired me. 

As you continue to work for unity, peace, and justice in your communities, may you know in a new way the deep and abiding peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. May you be reminded once more of the power of worship and prayer to shape communities of peace. And may you be open to the new and unexpected ways that the Holy Spirit is moving in our midst.