A Tapestry of Unity: Looking Ahead to October 6

September 18, 2019 | | GNJ News

World Communion Day is a day of unity, a day when congregations throughout GNJ and abroad will embrace a diverse togetherness throughout the world. This year on October 6, the first Sunday of every October, followers of Jesus Christ will gather in churches of all sizes, on lanes, streets and major highways, in modern buildings and makeshift sanctuaries, in rural and urban environments, all to receive the bread and cup of Holy Communion. Despite the differences in our denominations and traditions, we celebrate our unity in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior on this Special Sunday.

From a practical perspective, World Communion Sunday is one of the six Sundays of the year that the United Methodist Church has designated as denomination-wide Special Sundays, where special offerings are collected to serve specific ministry purposes in the church.

What does World Communion Sunday mean to you?

It is vital to recognize the global perspective this day brings, but this Special Sunday also touches people on a personal level. Hear what some of our pastors at United Methodists of Greater New Jersey have to say:

“I grew up in the diverse multicultural congregation of New Dover United Methodist Church in Edison, NJ. I remember as a child on World Communion Sunday being amazed at the familiar tune, “Jesus Loves Me” sung by members of the congregation in various languages. Looking back, it was such a simple lesson that taught me about the diversity of the church and how we can celebrate the love Jesus has for each of us as the Body of Christ together.”— Rev. Juel Nelson, Director of Leadership Development

We never celebrated World Communion Sunday growing up, but since becoming a Methodist, I quickly learned to love and appreciate this day. We celebrated it as a day in solidarity with the rest of the world. A day to remember to pray for people everywhere. A day to pray that all will come to know and experience God’s grace. And a day to thank God for and pray for our Christian brothers and sisters everywhere remembering that in Christ, we are many members of one body.”— Landen Wilson, Director of Worship

“World Communion Sunday took on new meaning for me as a pastor. As I broke the bread and shared the cup in my New Jersey congregation, I was inspired by the fact that on this day, this one Sunday each year, Christians around the world gathered at the table and celebrate communion. That despite our many differences, here at the table we are one in Christ Jesus. World Communion Sunday is a reminder that what we do here is not for us alone, not just for family and friends, but it’s for all the world.”— Rev. Gina Yeske, Director of Small Groups

During my time serving as Senior Pastor at Princeton UMC, World Communion Sunday was a great celebration. The congregation is ethnically diverse so we would celebrate that diversity as a gift from God by having congregation members read scripture in different languages, using breads from around the world for communion and processing in native dress on the Main St. in town led by a bagpiper. It was always a joyous Sunday.”— Rev. Jana Purkis-Brash, Executive Director of the United Methodist Stewardship Foundation of Greater New Jersey

“IGNITE usually falls on World Communion Sunday. I think it is fantastic that students and churches from throughout the region, who represent different cultures, languages, ethnicities and demographics, come together in Wildwood to receive Communion. It is a beautiful, impactful way to wrap up. This year all of us will come together around the altar to remember that God Moves Mountains across and beyond any lines of division or difference. I encourage pastors to send groups with youth leaders and adult volunteers, or for pastors to make accommodations so that their group can be at IGNITE on Sunday morning to celebrate together.”– Eric Drew, Executive Director of Next Generation Ministries

What does the day mean to YOU? Let us know!