World Communion Sunday

What is World Communion Sunday:

It is a time to celebrate our global connection, through celebration of the eucharist or Holy Communion with Christians of many denominations, persuasions, languages, traditions and customs, and liturgy. Depending on the church’s location, celebration of the sacrament of Holy Communion may precede or follow other locations spreading throughout the earth. World Communion Sunday celebrates a joyous and meaningful partaking in Jesus’ sacred meal with his friends and exposure to different Christian traditions from around the world.

But it is more than the simultaneous celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Communion.  From its earlier times, beginning with the depression era, World Communion Sunday not only celebrated the sacrament itself but also its ecumenical outreach.  This outreach is in the form of support of those in need of assistance in missions and ministries as well as reaching out to all people as a model of diversity in the world.

Beginnings:

World Communion Sunday originated in 1936 in the Presbyterian Church and was adopted by the Federal Council of Churches (predecessor of the NCC) in 1940.  From that beginning it has grown into an international ecumenical celebration of Christian unity.  The first Sunday in October (October 4, 2015 this year) was selected as the date when congregations from many denominations including but not limited to United Methodists, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, Congregational and other simultaneously celebrate World Communion Sunday.

In the United Methodist Church:

In the United Methodist Church it is one of the special Sundays authorized by the General Conference to be observed with the taking of an offering throughout the denomination. The observance focuses the attention of United Methodists on the universal and inclusive nature of the church. One half of the proceeds from the offering is for World Communion Sunday Scholars administered by the General Board of Global Ministries. The remaining one half is to be used for the Ethnic Scholarship program and the Ethnic In-Service Training Program, which are administered by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.  To learn more about the United Methodist Church and World Communion Sunday visit:  http://www.umcgiving.org/ministry-articles/world-communion-sunday