Newsletter October 2023 - First Presbyterian Ridgewood, NJ
On Sunday, October 1, here at First Presbyterian Church of Ridgewood NJ, we will celebrate World Communion Sunday.
World Communion Sunday (originally called World Wide Communion Sunday) is a gift of the Presbyterian Church to the larger ecumenical church. The first celebration occurred in 1933 at Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, PA, where Dr. Hugh Thompson Kerr served as pastor. According to Dr. Kerr’s son, Rev. Dr. Donald Craig Kerr, World Communion Sunday grew out of the Division of Stewardship at Shadyside. It was their attempt to bring churches together in a service of Christian unity – in which everyone might receive both inspiration and information, and above all, to know how important the Church of Jesus Christ is, and how each congregation is interconnected one with another.
Celebration of World Wide Communion Sunday was adopted as a denominational practice in the Presbyterian Church (US) in 1936. Churches in other denominations were invited to celebrate with us from the beginning, but it wasn’t until 1940 when the Department of Evangelism of the Federal Council of Churches (a predecessor body of
the National Council of Churches) promoted extending the celebration to a number of churches around the globe that the practice became widespread. World Communion Sunday is currently celebrated by congregations all over the world.
World Communion Sunday is a time for remembering that around the globe – in different languages, with different traditions and customs, and in various forms of liturgy – the Lord’s Supper is celebrated throughout Christendom.
Our guest preacher on World Communion Sunday will be Rev. Dr. Mark Mueller, a Presbyterian Pastor who currently serves as the Executive Director of The Outreach Foundation (TOF). The mission of TOF is engaging followers of Christ for his work in the world. And a stated priority of the foundation is building the capacity of the global church, especially where the church is vulnerable or growing rapidly, as together we
Cultivate deep, long-term relationships.
Support the work of global workers.
Help each other equip leaders, plant and build churches, and strengthen ministries of compassion.
It is therefore extremely fitting that Mark will join us for worship and deliver the morning message on World Communion Sunday. During two trips to the Middle East, I have traveled with Mark, have gotten to know him well, and count him as a friend. He is a person of deep faith, who has a passion for the Gospel and a love for the global church and its people.
I encourage you to join us for worship online or in the sanctuary on Sunday, October 1!
Grace and peace,