I’m back. There were no rumblings for the past two weeks because my poor old body succumbed to a wicked virus that tried to suck the life out of me. It failed and I survived. Next week, beginning on Jan 18, is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This is the one week of the year when we cross denominational boundaries and celebrate the one thing we have in common, our love of and obedience to Jesus Christ. In Dryden, we are celebrating with a service on Sunday evening, Jan 18, at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church at 7:00 pm. With the recent events that have been happening around the globe, the ISIL crisis in Syria and Iraq, the attacks on Canadian soldiers here in Canada, and most recently the shootings in Paris at the Charlie Hebdo office, it is more important than ever that Christians both locally and around the world unite in prayer and action to uphold the message of peace and reconciliation that Jesus Christ brought to earth. Sadly, the history of the christian faith has not always been a peaceful one, and in some misguided forms of Christianity intolerance and violence still persist. Now is the time to join with our brothers and sisters in other denominations to pray for a better future, to pray for unity in our faith. We have a gentleman in our community who is visiting Dryden from Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. He has been worshipping with us here at St. Luke’s. We were talking after the Thursday Eucharist, and I asked him about Beirut. Before 1975 it was one of the most beautiful cities in the Middle East, but since then it has become one of the most dangerous, especially for Christians. Churches have been bombed. Christians have been murdered. Communities have been destroyed. Raymond puts a face on the violence that has erupted against the Christian Faith. Please come and join us next Sunday evening as members of Dryden’s Christian faith community gather at St. Jo’s to celebrate our unity and our strength.