Sunday, October 6th is the 80th observation of World Communion Sunday, which was instituted at one of our sister congregations in 1933.
The people of Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, in the middle of the Great Depression and aware that the storm clouds were gathering in Europe, felt it important to show that people who love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ could be found all around the world. They understood that the most visible reminder of this truth is the table of our Lord, where all of Christ’s people are welcome, in every time and place.
This coming Sunday’s worship at our church - Wekiva Presbyterian Church in Longwood, Florida - reflects the origins of World Communion Sunday, with the Preparation for Worship and the hymn “God of Our Lives” both of which were written by Shadyside’s pastor, Dr. Hugh T. Kerr, who was observing his 20th anniversary at Shadyside the year that World Communion Sunday began.
Some years ago, I researched and wrote an extensive article about the origins of World Communion Sunday, which brought the response from the leaders of Shadyside to present me with one of the World Communion Sunday commemorative medallions that replicate the brass marker in Shadyside’s Chancel. These are normally worn only by the clergy at Shadyside, so it was a wonderful surprise and honor to receive it. I will be wearing it in worship this coming Sunday.
You may read my article on the history of World Communion Sunday, on our church website, here is the link: