2 Timothy 1:1-14; Luke 17:5-10
Good morning. Today we celebrate World Communion Sunday. This is an ecumenical celebration of the Lord’s Supper that is recognized by a number of different Christian denominations. At its core, World Communion Sunday emphasizes the connections among Christians all around the world, rather than focusing on the things that separate us. So, this isn’t just a Presbyterian thing, though it was originally conceived by a Presbyterian minister. And like so many other great things that make our world a better and brighter place, this tradition comes out of Pittsburgh. Seriously.
World Communion Sunday was first celebrated in 1933 at Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh. The Rev. Dr. Hugh Thomson Kerr wanted to bring churches together in ecumenical unity. The tradition was adopted by the Presbyterian Church in the United States—that’s the PCUS, not the PCUSA, which is our current denomination, more on that later—in 1936, and then it was endorsed by the National Council of Churches in 1940. So, it’s been around for quite a while.
I think this need for connection and common ground and unity is very clear in our fractured world. I’d like to try a little experiment here:
· If you were born in another country, please stand up.
· If your parents were born in another country, please stand.
· If your grandparents were born in another country, please stand.
That’s a visible reminde