Come together, right now
City’s faiths to gather for ecumenical service
by By Joseph Passantino
Reporter staff writer
Jan 15, 2014 | 4054 views | 0 0 comments | 167 167 recommendations | email to a friend | print
PREACHING TO ALL – Rev. Dorothy Patterson of the Wallace Temple A.M.E. Zion Church will be the guest preacher at a citywide service on Jan. 23.
PREACHING TO ALL – Rev. Dorothy Patterson of the Wallace Temple A.M.E. Zion Church will be the guest preacher at a citywide service on Jan. 23.
Bayonne will once again show what a caring and diverse community it is on Thursday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. when followers of all faiths gather for a special ecumenical prayer service in midtown.

The event is part of the broader Week of Prayer for Community Unity, an observance celebrated annually Jan. 18 to 25. This year’s theme is “Has God been divided?”

“In Bayonne, this celebration will take an even more inclusive spirit as the different houses of faith gather together at Grace Lutheran Church,” said Rev. Gary A. Grindeland, pastor of Grace Lutheran, 836 Ave. C, at 37th Street.

“The greater scope of this unity service is to remember and acknowledge more than ever the global significance of our faith and the unity we have as people of faith in a time that is rife with division and contention,” Grindeland said. “The service is a reminder of that unity that is so necessary to build authentic and lasting community.”

The candlelight prayer service will feature a unity message from the Rev. Dorothy Patterson, pastor of Wallace Temple A.M.E. Zion Church in Bayonne, and will include representatives from several faith communities.

Music will be performed, followed by a time of fellowship and celebration.

“Of course, the public is welcome and expected,” Grindeland said. “In preparation for the service, each community of faith is invited to hold each other in prayer at their respective worship times.”

Other clergy participating in the service and their houses of worship are Fr. Greg Perez, Trinity Episcopal Church of Bergen Point; Rev. Joe Barbone, Our Lady of the Assumption Church, and Fr. John Fencik of St. Mary’s Orthodox Church. Others are expected to participate.

The first of these Community Unity observances began in 1908 on a remote hillside 50 miles from New York City in Garrison, N.Y., in the chapel of the small Atonement Franciscan Convent of the Protestant Episcopal Church.

This prayer movement fanned the flames of ecumenism around the world, beyond the imaginations of the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Atonement, according to Grindeland, until today it is a worldwide celebration involving many nations and millions of people.

For more information about the service or the week, Rev. Grindeland can be reached at or (201) 339-3685.

Joseph Passantino may be reached at

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