2012 World Communion Sunday: October 7, 2012

2012, 3 pp
World Communion Sunday (initially called World Wide Communion Sunday) originated in the Presbyterian Church (USA). In 1936, for the first time, the first Sunday in October was celebrated in Presbyterian churches in the United States and overseas. From the beginning, it was planned so that other denominations could make use of it. After a few years, the idea was welcomed by the wider Christian community as an opportunity to move beyond historical and theological differences and worship together. On this first Sunday of October, we celebrate our oneness – our communion – in Christ, in the midst of a world still in need of the reconciling unity of Christ.

The Middle English roots of the word “communion” refer to having something in common and to being in a relationship. On this particular Sunday, it is a blessing to be intentionally aware of being “in communion,” that is, sharing Christ Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, whom we have “in common” with other Christians, congregations, and denominations around the world. We enact the sharing of this special commonality by remembering the Lord’s Supper. For Mennonites who don’t customarily receive the bread and cup each week, the significance of communion is enlarged this Sunday as the celebration of the fellowship and unity of the body of Christ extends far beyond the local congregation.

Uniting in worship around the written Word selected from the Lectionary texts for this Sunday also brings us into communion with those across denominations and around the world. Consider how these texts are lived out similarly or differently in settings other than your own denomination, region, or country. As you prepare for World Communion Sunday, study these scriptures with people from another denomination or country of origin. If you are already partnering with another congregation, solicit their personal commentaries on the texts. Ecumenical partnering in prayer, worship, and scripture-study is often like receiving a breath of fresh air – the Holy Spirit’s breath!

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