Reflections on World Communion Sunday

The Best Communion by Jan Richardson
The Best Communion by Jan Richardson

On the Saturday before World Communion Sunday, which was held in many congregations yesterday throughout the country, I went on a search of comments, articles, and statements about this special Sunday.  I was looking for information on the origin, basis of, and theological perspectives about a day that has become a highly celebrated day in the life of the church. 

As a good Disciples, I checked the Global Ministries website to read their statement about the day.  It read, “World Communion Sunday offers congregations a distinctive opportunity to experience Holy Communion in the context of the global community of faith. The first Sunday of October has become a time when Christians in every culture break bread and pour the cup to remember and affirm Christ as the Head of the Church. On that day, they remember that they are part of the whole body of believers. Whether shared in a grand cathedral, a mud hut, outside on a hilltop, in a meetinghouse, or in a storefront, Christians celebrate the communion liturgy in as many ways as there are congregations. World Communion Sunday can be both a profound worship experience and a time for learning more about our wider community of faith.”

Theirs is a pretty straightforward and exact explanation of World Communion Sunday.  Also, in my research, I found an article in Sojourners’ magazine, which delves into the demographic and doctrinal divisions the church still experiences around the Table.  Communion in Disciples congregations is celebrated weekly as the central element of our worship. We recognize that this is the Lord’s Table and not ours as we proclaim that “All are Welcome” and “All Means All.” We do so in full recognition that there are still divisions throughout the Church centered squarely around the Table. 

As we pass another celebration of World Communion Sunday, I would like to share with you this article from Sojourners.  The article I share examines the implication of religious rights and civil rights of those who seek communion. It is good food for thought.  Christ calls us to a Table where the welcome is wide. We must pause to ask, Is our communion and our community wide enough in our world today? The hope for full communion that is intrinsic in our understanding of the Table grows stronger when we seek communion everywhere and anywhere and community where we find it and work to bring that full communion and community to pass. 

Sojourners:  Seeking Communion: Religious Rites and Civil Rights

Linda Jones
CCK Associate Regional Minister

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