This Sunday marks World Communion Sunday! You may be asking yourself: “What exactly is it?” Well, I’m so glad you asked!
World Communion Sunday started in 1933 at Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, PA! According to John A Dalles’ 2002 article in the Presbyterian Outlook (found here), the goal was to bring churches together in which people “might receive both inspiration and information and above all, to know how important the Church of Jesus Christ is, and how each congregation is interconnected one with another.”
According to Dalles’ conversation with Shadyside’s Clerk of Session at the time of the 2002 article, World Communion Sunday was a slow start at first. But, when humanity was facing the Second World War, people’s attitudes changed. They recognized that Christians needed to remain in Christian solidarity with others around the world! While it started as a practice strictly in the former Presbyterian Church in the United States (the Southern branch), the Federal Council of Churches (an ecumenical group of churches in the United States now called the National Council of Churches) promoted this Sunday starting in 1940. Since 1940, it has become standard practice in many congregations.
This Sunday reminds us that Christians are not bound to one congregation, city, state, or country. Christians are all over the world. While there are differences between various stripes of churches, we are one in Christ! And when we partake of the LORD’s Supper, Christians from all time and space gather (because of the Holy Spirit’s leading!) with us at the table of our Risen LORD! It is a strong bond, stronger than any barrier we may erect.
Let us take this Sunday and everyday to be assured of the strong bond we have in Christ and with each other…..near and far!
Pastor T. Wes