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As the legend of St. Nick begins to make the rounds ahead of Christmas, there's a deeper meaning in the man's life that united the who's who of the charismatic world hundreds of years later.
Kenneth Copeland, Mike Bickle, Che Ahn, Lou Engle, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo and John Arnott, to name a few, spent last week on their knees in Kansas City, Missouri, to celebrate major milestones in the international church. It was all part of Kairos 2017, a conference hosted by United in Christ.
Initially, the idea for the conference was birthed in Bari, Italy, where the Basilica di San Nicola holds some of Saint Nicholas' relics. The city represents a place of neutrality for the Catholic and Orthodox churches, which both consider the basilica worthy of pilgrimage.
As Matteo Calisi, the founder of United in Christ, bridged the gap between the Catholic church and charismatic leaders, he and others began to pray into the idea of renewal. For 2017, United in Christ wanted to honor the reconciliation between denominations with a time of prayer, fasting and celebration.
"We want to launch for the first time ever, Catholics and non-Catholics and Orthodox, Messianics and all other Christians, an assertive joint effort of prayer and fasting for the harvest for world evangelism," Bruno Ierullo, a pastor of a Catch the Fire church in Canada, as well as the vice president of United in Christ. "This is just like, amazing! There a lot of people just excited [for what's to come]."
This year contains multiple anniversaries:
40-year anniversary of the Ecumenical Charismatic Conference in Kansas City (1977)
50-year anniversary of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (1967)
50-year anniversary of the Messianic Movement (1967)
500-year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation (1517)
The event was held at Forerunner Christian Fellowship, International House of Prayer's conference center. Attendees also spent several hours in the 24/7 prayer room. The conference featured multiple panels, including lectures on diversity and unity in the church, marketplace ministry and more.
In addition to celebrating the past, prayerfully considered what the future may hold.
"We believe the journey of harvest will come," Ierullo says. "The body of Christ is in that hour. God is bringing His bride into almost like an Esther-like moment so to speak, into a beauty parlor kind of thing. He's adorning it, and she makes herself ready to meet the king, King Jesus, the bridegroom. We're in that stage where bride is perfecting herself, the bride is adorning herself in the beauty salon for that great day. We believe there is a bridal paradigm, and we're doing this, the body of Christ is readying itself. It's a lot of hard work to connect people, so we are here with that dream."
Ierullo says he believes the baton of previous revivals has now been passed to the next generation. The attendees agreed to intercede together for what's to come.
The key takeaway includes the "initiative for prayer and fasting together until the harvest," Ierullo says.
Attendees also sowed into United in Christ so the ministry could "win cities all across America, come to cities to help ministries and rally up troops for the harvest."
Jessilyn Justice @jessilynjustice is the director of online news for Charisma.