Christians Celebrate Unity During Advent

Tags: Currents, Brooklyn, NY, Faith, Inspiration, Pope Francis, Queens, NY, World News

By Emily Drooby

Kaitlyn Colgan is Catholic and Michael Rudzena is a non-denominational Christian.

Kaitlyn Colgan is Catholic and Michael Rudzena is a non-denominational Christian.  But on Dec. 5, they worshiped together at an Advent celebration. It was a night of prayer and unity among all Christians —  from Auxiliary Bishop James Massa of the Diocese of Brooklyn, to Pentecostal leader Joe Tosini.

“There is so much that we have in common and so much we can share with one another,” said Colgan.

“I’m encouraged. I’m encouraged in a moment that’s very polarized, I’m encouraged to see people moving towards each other. I’m encouraged to see people with an open and eager posture,” explained Rudzena.

The event, hosted by the John 17 Movement was started by Joe Tosini four years ago.

The name, “John 17,” refers to the chapter of the Gospel when Christ prays for his believers to unite.

“John 17 is an initiative where we are saying we just want to come to a table of friendship just like the last supper, we want to start at the feet, not at the head and we want to listen to each other,” said Tosini.

“Building relationships between pastors, between congregations and between believers in Christ to come together for prayer and fellowship and that’s what we are doing tonight,” said Bishop Massa.

The group supports an understanding and open communication between all Christians, an idea close to Pope Francis’s heart.

Just days prior to the event, the Holy Father even sent a letter in support of the movement, it was read aloud by Bishop Massa.

“With all of his many obligations, and his many responsibilities as the head of the church he takes time for this because he believes in it,” said Bishop Massa.

Together, Christians embraced their similarities and their differences with one goal in mind: unity.