Creative Worship Ideas: World Communion Sunday

Have you started planning for World Communion Sunday yet? Do you have any creative worship ideas?

I’ve been planning both our kick-off Sunday (September 13) and World Communion Sunday (October 4), so I’ll throw out some ideas and see if it sparks your creativity.

Kick-off Sunday
We want the kick-off Sunday to be full of energy and Spirit. The scripture passage will be Psalm 150 and the theme will be praising the Lord. Right after the announcements, we’ll play a video of Let Everything (that has breath praise the Lord). During the opening hymn, we’ll have the choir, and the children playing rhythm instruments, processing in to “Halle, Halle, Halle.” It’s a great song. I want to teach it to our congregation so we can use it on a regular basis. It works well for a call to worship or after the declaration of pardon. We might use it on our “First Sunday.” On the first Sunday of the month, people bring food and money for our local food bank, and the children collect the items after the children’s sermon. I wanted to find a version of the song on CD so I could teach the children during Sunday school. And I found a wonderful CD from John Bell of Iona, Sing with the World. It has songs from all over the world, sung in the native language and in English. You can download individual songs or the whole CD. The CD and song book are also available through Gia Music. Perhaps we’ll also use one of the songs for World Communion Sunday.

World Communion Sunday
We’re going to use a different type of bread. The United Church of Christ has some great World Communion Sunday ideas, including recipes for breads from different countries. The Presbyterian Church (USA) has some good resources, especially if your church is receiving the Peacemaking Offering. One of the best ways to introduce video into your church is to show the videos that the PCUSA produces for special offerings. We’ll probably show ours a few weeks before to prepare people for the offering.

Our church has a special relationship with Malawi, Egypt, and El Salvador. So we’re going to highlight those countries throughout the service, perhaps having the children pass out flags, or short updates on what God is doing there and how we’re helping.

What are some of the creative worship ideas you have for kick-off Sunday or World Communion Sunday?

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6 responses to “Creative Worship Ideas: World Communion Sunday

  1. I collect fabrics from all over the world, especially Africa. I will be draping large swathes of the various fabrics around the sanctuary. I will also be “puddling” different soft materials in many colors and patterns at the foot of the cross. This is for World Communion Sunday.

  2. Thanks for the idea, Barb. I have some fabrics from Malawi that I can use.

  3. For this Sunday, we’re using a song by Ruth Duck as our communion litany. The first verse will serve as the prayer of Thanksgiving:
    Glory to God and peace on earth!
    We worship and bless the God of our birth.
    Thanksgiving and praise be yours God most high.
    You are the Holy One;
    Your glory fills the skies.

    The verse second is our intercessory prayer:
    O Lamb of God, we praise your name,
    for you take away the world’s sin and shame.
    O Christ, give us peace, and grant us your care.
    Jesus, O Lamb of God, bend down and hear our prayer.

    And the third is a response to the prayer after the meal.
    Spirit of God, we sing to you.
    O Giver of life, your touch makes us new.
    Come breathe on us now; transform all our ways.
    O Spirit, stay with us and fill our hearts with praise

    It’s one of my favorite ways that we sing our litany.

    • You had us do that at the Presbytery meeting, too, singing a verse of a hymn as the different parts of the communion liturgy. I liked it. It gave a unity to that part of the service, and helped the people pray the prayer of thanksgiving.

      Your post also reminded me of a letter I got from Deborah Chase. She’s a PCUSA minister working at the Theological College in Malawi. She said the Presbyterians in Malawi always start and end their communion services with the hymn “Behold the Holy Lamb of God, behold the man that bears for us a heavy load.” I wonder if I can find a communion hymn for World Communion Sunday (perhaps the one you use, Mark), and then use it often enough that the words start to sink into our souls.

  4. I like to bake a variety of breads in the church kitchen about an hour before worship begins to give the aroma of fresh baked bread-and to help create a visual on the communion table of the different varieties there are around the world.

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