Toronto – It's a new day for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The 104-year-old call to Christians to atone for their deliberate and structural estrangement from one another is employing Facebook, Twitter and the latest publishing technology to get the word out.
Promoting the Week of Prayer via social media was basically a no-brainer as far as the Canadian Council of Churches is concerned, said CCC secretary general the Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton.
"It was just obvious, given that we are continually thinking through communications issues and paying attention to what's going on," said Hamilton.
The 2012 Week of Prayer will take place Jan. 18 to 25.
The more dramatic change takes publishing duties out of the hands of the Catholic book publisher Novalis.
An Internet-based, print-on-demand service will be used to tailor the number of books printed exactly to the demand and to get the books into parishes and congregations faster, said Hamilton.
"Technology changes," said Hamilton. "It is incumbent on us all to keep up with what works. At this point in the technology and the process, this is what works for us."
Novalis itself has turned to print-on-demand technology for some of its smaller-scale publishing, said Novalis publishing director Joseph Sinasac. Print-on-demand technology just made sense for the Week of Prayer.
Quick and easy
Sinasac said Novalis and the CCC decided mutually that the booklet was a simple project that didn't need sophisticated collaboration.
The decision was not driven by money, said Hamilton.
"We expect it will make it quicker and easier for people to acquire the material this way," she said.
To receive the Week of Prayer resource kit, go to www.councilofchurches.ca/en.