It was back in 1933 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that a Presbyterian congregation by the name of Shadyside Presbyterian Church held the first World Communion Sunday. It was an effort to foster and celebrate unity and connection among those churches who held the Christian faith in common. What began in that single congregation eventually spread to the entire denomination in 1936. As word got out about this meaningful worship experience, it was eventually adopted by the National Council of Churches in 1940. Now, World Communion Sunday is literally celebrated world-wide by thousands of congregations across many denominations.
As we observe World Communion Sunday at Starmount this Sunday, we will fulfill the same purpose that Shadyside intended when it held the very first World Communion Sunday. When we gather around the table for communion, keep in mind that others all over this country and all over the world gather around the same table, confess the same faith in Jesus Christ, and receive the same grace from God. Celebrating the sacrament on this day reminds us that we as a church are a part of something much bigger than ourselves.
It is indeed important to have reminders like these. Opportunities to celebrate those things that we hold in common, those things that connect us, rather than those things that divide us. Communion reminds us of what Jesus Christ has done for us and the abundance of grace that we receive. As we eat the bread and drink from the cup, we are also nourished for the work that is ahead of us, the work of proclaiming the good news of the Gospel through all that we say and all that we do in this world.
I hope you will join us this Sunday as we gather at the table, alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ from all around the globe, to celebrate our common faith and our connection in Christ.