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World Communion by Connie McNeill

World Communion Sunday is a worldwide tradition begun in this century. The minister at Shadyside Presbyterian Church, Hugh Thomson Kerr, had the idea of World Communion Sunday during his year as moderator of the General Assembly in 1930. The tradition began four years later out of the Division of Stewardship at Shadyside. Why that group?

Their vision was to create a sign of Christian unity by bringing churches together through service. In serving together, they hoped for everyone to have reaffirmed how important the Church is and how each congregation is connected with one another. In 1936, the Presbyterian Church adopted the tradition. Four years later in 1940, the National Council of Churches endorsed it, and the tradition spread worldwide.

The primary focus for this first Sunday in October each year is unity or communion. To celebrate, we share in one Christian practice that is found in every church around the world—the breaking of bread and the sharing of the cup. Together, on one Sunday, we all celebrate our gratefulness for Christ's sacrifice again. Just think what it might be like to celebrate with the various types of bread found around the world—rice cakes, tortillas, gluten-free, soda bread, sourdough, pita…you get the idea.

In addition to unity, World Communion Sunday is an opportunity for us to partake of our Lord’s Supper as an opening of ourselves to different Christian traditions around the world. All brothers and sisters in Christ. As at Pentecost, praising in different languages. Remembering our Christ and each other as we serve this fractured world in unity.

Posted by Connie McNeill at 8:00 AM
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