Emphasizing the World in World Communion Sunday

Emphasizing the World in World Communion Sunday
September 29, 2015 Dan Wunderlich

I am sad to say that for the last couple years, I did not do a very good job of celebrating World Communion Sunday. Sure, we took communion, and we took the special denominational offering that funds scholarships and training. I also made passing comments in the announcements, pastoral prayer, and communion liturgy that acknowledged our desire to keep our brothers and sisters in faith around the world in mind. However, I feel like I missed the opportunity to facilitate a true understanding of the idea that we are all connected as the body of Christ.

As I thought back over whether I had ever experienced a truly impactful World Communion Sunday experience, I was reminded of services planned and lead by my former Senior Pastor, Rev. David Fuquay. One year, we showed images from a photography project called “Hungry Planet: What the World Eats.”

TIME has a great gallery of 27 of the families from around the world featured in the project. The photos are exceptionally compelling as they show the families in the place where they typically eat surrounded by a typical week’s worth of food. It runs the gamut from overloaded dinning room tables to sacks on the ground outside. In the captions, we learn the families’ favorite foods as well as their expenditures for a regular week.

Another practice we did every couple of years was to have breads from “around the world” for communion. The altar would be covered with everything from fluffy white bread to naan to challah to matzo. Each communion station would have a different bread, and we bought more than we needed so that there was an opportunity to try the different breads after the service. It was a great way to engage with taste and texture in a way that was unique.

What made these activities memorable was that it emphasized the world in World Communion Sunday in a very real and tangible way. Our special litanies and explanations are important, but if we can find ways to bring the connection alive, it makes a deeper impact. We should use our creativity to engage different senses, encourage active participation, and learn the names and faces and stories of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

In the comments below, I would love to hear what you are planning for World Communion Sunday. What activities have worked well for you in the past? How have you intentionally set about making our worldwide connection real on this special Sunday?

Images in this post by Peter Menzel, from the book, “Hungry Planet: What the World Eats,” as featured on TIME.com

Sign up to receive resources and updates from Defining Grace in your inbox.

Including a FREE PDF with 10 Action Steps for Better Church Announcements!


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this site–potentially in the post above–are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Defining Grace is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *