Bishop Ward encourages the observance of World Communion Sunday on October 1 and offers a prayer for unity, peace, compassion and hope.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ, who is the host of the great banquet.
Sunday, October 1 is World Communion Sunday. This is an annual festival of the church, in which we celebrate our kinship with all God’s people in every place. It is a day when we pray for the unity of Christ’s people around the world.
On this World Communion Sunday, a special offering is received in every United Methodist church. This offering is used for scholarships for young people around the world. Our generosity enables them to continue their education. In giving, you are undergirding leaders for years to come.
As we move toward the table of the Lord on this Sunday, let us pray for unity, for peace, for goodwill to all people. Let us pray especially for those in need, those who have been impacted by natural disaster – wind and water, fire, and sliding mud down mountainsides. In all of these places, people are in need of our prayers and partnership.
Let us pray for all of those who live in fear, those who fear separation or deportation from nearness to their families. Let us pray for those whom we have difficulty loving, those whose opinions are different from our own. May we pray that God will help us to live into the unity that God gives.
This is Christ’s table. Come all you who long to honor and love Christ. Come all you who want to live the light and life of Christ in the world. Come all of you who want to live in peace with one another.
On this World Communion Sunday, may we experience anew our oneness in Christ and our connection to the entire human family.
Prayer for use on World Communion Sunday:
Eternal God, we give thanks for your creative and generous love.
You created and called the universe and all people good.
On this World Communion Sunday, we pray for all of our sisters
and brothers around the world. Help us to see the image of God
in each and every person so that we do not ignore the needs of any.
Bind us together as a human family, offering honor and dignity to
every soul, even those we have called our enemies, even when it
is hard to love.
We pray for those facing difficulty and uncertainty: for those suffering
from floods and wind and fire, for those facing separation or deportation
from loved ones, and for those who live without loving companionship
or the sense of being loved by you.
Use us, as United Methodists, to be the embodiment of inclusive love,
with Jesus as our example. Use us to share sacrificial mercy and grace
to the whole world through the power of the Holy Spirit.
In unity, compassion and hope, we pray. Amen.