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World Communion Sunday, October 2, 2011
World Communion Sunday – celebrated the first Sunday in October – is one of the most venerable of “special Sundays.” The day has taken on new relevancy and depth of meaning in a world where globalization often has undermined peace and justice – and in a time when fear divides the peoples of God's earth. On this day we celebrate our oneness in Christ, the Prince of Peace, in the midst of the world we are called to serve – a world ever more in need of peacemaking.
Ecumenical Observance Began in 1936
World Communion Sunday (originally 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 and, after a few years, the idea spread beyond the Presbyterian Church.
The Department of Evangelism of the Federal Council of Churches (a predecessor body of the National Council of Churches) was first associated with World Wide Communion Sunday in 1940 when the departments executive secretary, Jesse Bader, led in its extension to a number of churches throughout the world.
Today, efforts to promote World Communion Sunday are carried out by participating denominations, and several produce materials geared toward this observance. Please contact your denominations national offices to inquire about the availability of such materials. Click below for a few examples of ways that denominations and congregations lift up World Communion Sunday. If you have other resources to suggest, send an e-mail and tell us about them.
World Communion Sunday resources:
The Presbyterian Church USA commemorates World Communion Sunday through its annual Peacemaking Offering.
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