The worldwide observance of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will include a Prayer Service sponsored by the Southern California Ecumenical Council, tobe celebrated Jan. 27, 3 p.m. at St. Athanasius Church at the Cathedral Center of St. Paul.On Jan. 20, Pope Benedict XVI said the Jan. 18-25 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was a time for all Christians to reawaken their desire and their prayerful commitment to full communion.Divisions among Christians have "disfigured" the church, Pope Benedict said, notably the sin "against her visible unity, particularly the historical divisions that have separated Christians and still have not been overcome completely."Pope Benedict urged prayers and action for peace in the world, "so that in the various conflicts underway, the massacre of defenseless civilians would cease, there would be an end to every form of violence and people would find the courage for dialogue and negotiation."The Los Angeles observance on Jan. 27 will include an address by Rev. Felix Villanueva, Conference Minister of the Southern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ, on this year’s theme, “What Does God Require of Us?” The theme was chosen by university students in India reflecting their concern about the caste system in their country.The St. Athanasius Youth Choir will provide special music. The offering will be given to support the neighborhood food bank in Echo Park. Following the service there will be a reception in the adjacent fellowship hall. All are welcome to this worship service, an ecumenical gathering of Christians of all denominations. St. Athanasius Church, an event co-sponsor, is located at 840 Echo Park Ave., Los Angeles. For more information, contact the Southern California Ecumenical Council at (626) 578-6371 or at: mailto:[email protected]January 25, 2013