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World Communion Sunday is Oct. 4

Communion Elements

World Communion Sunday, October 4, focuses attention on the universal and inclusive nature of the church, challenged but standing strong.

Each year, several denominations celebrate World Communion Sunday on the first Sunday in October. The observance this year is October 4.

For United Methodists and others, Wold Communion Sunday focuses our attention on the universal and inclusive nature of the church. In addition to participating in Holy Communion, United Methodists live out this churchwide Special Sunday in concrete ways. World Communion Sunday calls the church to reach out to all people and to model diversity to God’s children everywhere. These are all values that are not diminished by COVID-19.

In 1972, the General Conference approved the World Communion Sunday offering to support the education of racial-ethnic groups. Donations to this Special Sunday offering equip U.S. racial-ethnic and international students to transform the church and their communities as both laity and clergy. Without the support of our United Methodist brothers and sisters, however, their dreams may elude them.

These resources and ideas will help you to create your World Communion Sunday celebration on Oct. 4, 2020 (or on another date of your choice).

  1. Spotlight a student.
    • If students from your congregation have received a scholarship, consider asking them to share a testimonial about what the scholarship means to them or click here to find a World Communion Sunday profile story to share with your congregation.
  2. Conduct your World Communion Sunday celebration online to increase the visibility of your church’s ministry in your community.
    • Distribute sealed Communion elements ahead of time so that everyone will be ready to partake at the appropriate time during the service.
    • If you are conducting face-to-face worship, provide a safe communion environment. Place containers with sanitizers or handy wipes at the church entrance or at the front of the altar so that members can wash their hands before they partake of the elements. Provide an empty container to place all used cups and wrappings and dispose of them properly.
  3. Download the 2020 World Communion Sunday Pastor and Leader Kit, which includes social media graphics, videos, offering talk, bulletin inserts, and other resources to use during your celebration.
    • Use social media graphics as visuals to enhance sermon illustration points.
    • While worshipers are gathering, play a World Communion Sunday video as a prelude to the worship experience.
    • Use the 2020-21 Special Sundays planning calendar located in your Pastor and Leader Kit to implement your promotion schedule (see page 13-15). Feel free to adjust the planning calendar schedule to fit your congregation’s calendar.
    • Pastor Kit resources are also available in French, Spanish and Korean: sermon starter, bulletin insert, offering talks, liturgy, poster, and social media graphics.
  4. Encourage your congregation to give online at UMC.org/SSGive. You may also use this opportunity to launch your church’s online giving. Send contributions to the World Communion Sunday offering to your annual conference treasurer.
  5. Announce the celebration date to your congregation. Customize or use the Announcement Copy below to inform your congregation about your World Communion Sunday celebration. Use this information on your social media, websites, newsletters, or other media channels.

Announcement Copy:
World Communion Sunday is Oct. 4, 2020. Celebrated the first Sunday in October, this Special Sunday with offering focuses our attention on the universal and inclusive nature of the church. We look forward to this celebration annually when we partake of Holy Communion together and share our gifts to support racial-ethnic students and others in their quest to become leaders who embody the mission of The United Methodist Church.

The offering facilitates the educational preparation and training of United Methodists from around the world and bolsters recruitment, training, and retention of racial-ethnic people for leadership positions at every level of the church.

You can contribute online to World Communion Sunday at UMC.org/SSGive!

Thank you for your generous gifts.