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Ecumenical Vespers/Evening Prayer at the Judicatory-level in North Florida
During the WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY
JANUARY 18–25, 2020

Jesus prayed: “That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (John 17:21, NKJV)


7th Ecumenical Vespers / Evening Prayer

with Prayer for the 20th Anniversary of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification

At St. Paul AME Church, 6910 New Kings Rd., Jacksonville, Florida

Wednesday, January 22, 2020, at 6:00 PM

Presider: Bishop Adam Jefferson Richardson, Jr., Senior Bishop, African Methodist Episcopal Church
and Bishop of the AME 11th Episcopal District

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Host and Master of Ceremony: Rev. Marvin Clyde Zanders, II

Place: St. Paul AME Church, 6910 New Kings Road (US 1 & Richardson), Jacksonville, FL

Date: Wednesday evening, January 22, 2020, in the evening twilight

Honored Participants who will be attending as of January 9, 2020

All Are welcome!
Public security will be provided by local law enforcement.
Why Ecumenical Vespers?
    "In order to unite with one another, we must love one another;
in order to love one another, we must know one another;

    in order to know one another, we must go and meet one another."
Testament of Cardinal Mercier

Vespers is the preferred interdenominational prayer service because it does profess foundational Christian beliefs
but does not involve participation in the Eucharist also known as the Lord's Table or intercommunion.

What is the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ)?
The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ) was a historic agreement signed by Lutherans and Catholics on October 31, 1999, in Augsburg, Germany, effectively resolving one of the key theological conflicts of the Reformation. Initially a Catholic-Lutheran agreement, it has since been joined and affirmed by three other Christian World Communions, namely the Methodist, Anglican and Reformed churches.

Find out more about the official documents about the JDDJ signed by the five Christian World Communions:

DECALOGUE FOR ECUMENICAL DISCIPLESHIP (1988)

by Rev. Donald Charles Lacy (1933-2012)

United Methodist pastor, teacher, writer and ecumenist, Indiana Council of Churches

  1. Daily affirmation that Jesus calls His followers to be one. 
  2. Daily praise for the infinite variety of religious expression evidenced in the Universal Church. 
  3. Daily study of the beliefs and/or organizational life found in denomination(s) other than our own. 
  4. Daily prayer for those within and outside our denomination that all might appreciate and be enriched by the diversity found in the Universal Church. 
  5. Daily practice of intentionally conversing with a person(s) in another denomination(s) about the Christian Faith. 
  6. Daily meditation on what it means to be a part of the Body of Christ. 
  7. Daily acknowledgement of our roots found in the rich heritage of Judaism.
  8. Daily openness to the continually emerging opportunities for worship and understanding among Christians. 
  9. Daily admission that it was and is scandalous for Christians to be divided.
  10. Daily consecration of our entire being to the cause of Christian unity. 
Source: Touchstone, A Journal of Mere Christianity, Winter 1988
History of the Ecumenical Vespers in North Florida
    On April 8, 2013, Bishop Felipe J. Estevez of the Diocese of St. Augustine and the Rev. Mike Morgan, Chancellor and Diocesan Ecumenical Officer, appointed Fr. Alberto Esposito, Pastor of Santa Maria del Mar Catholic Church in Flagler Beach, Florida, and Chau T. Phan, founder of the Christian Unity ministry at Santa Maria del Mar Catholic Church, as Associate Diocesan Ecumenical Officers. They were to organize  the first Ecumenical Vespers in northeast Florida as a way to pray across major Christian denominations once a year during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18 to 25.
  • The First Ecumenical Vespers took place in January 2014 at the Cathedral of St. Augustine, presided over by Bishop Estevez.
  • The Second Ecumenical Vespers took place in January 2015 at the St. John's Cathedral in Jacksonville, presided over by Bishop Samuel Johnson Howard of the Episcopal Diocese of Florida.
  • The Third Ecumenical Vespers took place in January 2016 at the St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in Jacksonville, presided over by Bishop Robert G. Schaefer of the Florida-Bahamas Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
  • The Fourth Ecumenical Vespers took place in January 2017 at the St. John Divine Greek Orthodox Church in Jacksonville, presided over by Bishop Emeritus Dimitrios Couchell.
  • The Fifth Ecumenical Vespers took place in January 2018 at the Riverside Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville, presided over by Stated Clerk Rev. Alexandra Hedrick.
  • The Sixth Ecumenical Vespers took place in January 2019 at the Southside United Methodist Church in Jacksonville, presided over by Rev. Jay Therrell, Superintendent, North East District, on behalf of Bishop Kenneth Carter, Florida Resident Bishop, The Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Observance of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation
  Catholic-Lutheran Common Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017
at the Basilica of Mary, Queen of the Universe
Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Click here for details