Everyone’s at the Table for World Communion Sunday

Levy LaguardiaIn NTC, ethnic breads and concerts to mark the day of giving to develop church leaders around the globe

When the next ZIP code over from your church — 75038 — is cited as the most ethnically diverse in the U.S., celebrating World Communion Sunday is a natural, says the Rev. Levy Laguardia, pastor of Northgate UMC in Irving.

His church has members from several African countries, Nepal and other nations. Northgate also offers a Sunday school class in French and hosts three more congregations — one black, one Hispanic and one Tamil, an ethnic minority in India. Rev. Laguardia himself is from the Philippines.

This year, World Communion Sunday falls on Oct. 1, a day when United Methodists are encouraged to donate toward preparing people around the globe for the vocation God has given them but who face financial obstacles. Many of them are youth and young adults who will be the first generation in their families to attend college.

At Northgate, Rev. Laguardia urges members during communion to imagine people of all countries coming to the same table. The call to worship is conducted in different languages, and communion features traditional breads from different parts of the world.

Lovers Lane UMC will mark World Communion Sunday with “ONE,” a 6 p.m. concert featuring choirs from its two African fellowships, the Lovers Lane Sign Choir and ensembles from Grace Avenue, Cosmo Church and Real Hope United. They will join the Lovers Lane Modern Worship Band featuring DeDe Jones, said the Rev. Kennon Pickett of the CrossWalk worship community.

“This concert is themed directly from the Eucharist liturgy: One with Christ. One with each other. One in ministry to all the world,” Rev. Pickett said. “We will also have an African liturgical dancer and Rev. Donna Whitehead presiding over a special communion service.” It will be in Asbury Hall, with child care available on site, and “the whole community is invited.”

At First UMC Commerce, the Rev. Dr. Greg Neal has prepared the Great Thanksgiving for World Communion Sunday.

It is essentially “from the UM Hymnal, adapted with a preface and remembrance that is tailored to the theme of World Communion Sunday. I’ve used a version of this Great Thanksgiving for the past several years,” he said. “It is an adaption of the Great Thanksgiving as found in the UM Book of Worship, heavily adjusted and updated to reflect several theological themes” in the practice of communion.

Dr. Neal shares the communion liturgy here:

Published: Tuesday, September 12, 2017