It was decided to consult the House with reference to a request for support of an ecumenical Pastoral asking that Christian people in Canada, and others, join in a day of prayer and fasting "in order that we might more clearly discern what the Lord would have us do to fashion peace in this troubled world."
That copies of the revised Ecumenical Pastoral be sent to all clergy with full explanation and suggestions for its use. CARRIED #14-2-84
AN ECUMENICAL PASTORAL LETTER
March 1, 1984
Amid the fear and anxiety created in the hearts of many people by the threat of nuclear war, Christians are called to bear witness to a hope that is firmly rooted in their Faith. This hope is not founded in some naive optimism, but in God revealed in Jesus Christ.
God in Christ encountered the tragic and sinful forces present in our world. These same forces continue to be sources of violence and oppression, immorality and injustice, but we do not despair. The eyes of faith which saw the Resurrection of our Lord discern the Spirit of God at work as a life-giver and as peace-maker among us. We believe the madness of the arms race can be stopped; the hearts of men and women can be changed from hearts of stone to hearts of flesh; we can beat our swords into ploughshares; we can choose life over death. But for this to happen we must not only speak about the "peace of God"; we must also work for peace.
If we dare to speak and act for God, we must be attentive to the word and wisdom which God is addressing to us. In this regard the Scriptures say that in prayer and fasting we grow in our knowledge of what God wills for us. Today we have great need to listen with care to our God.
At this time, therefore, when people everywhere are seeking the way to peace, we invite Christian people in Canada, people of other faith communities, and all men and women of goodwill to participate in a special day of prayer and of fasting. We suggest that this day be Friday, 13 April .
For Christians, the Risen Christ has made peace available in a special way in the community that is the Church. To all humanity, the Creator God gives the precious gift of life. We invite all to celebrate this gift and to share in our hope for peace. We especially invite Christians to reflect on the hope that the Gospel makes possible as we celebrate the Feast of the Resurrection of the Lord during Easter.
May men and women everywhere be touched by the Peace of Christ and offer it one to another as a sign of hope in our troubled times.