Planning for this Service
Our October worship series, “Living Faith in the Everyday,” has a dual meaning. When using the word “living” as an adjective, this series compels us to seek a vibrant faith-life in everyday circumstances. Here, “faith” is the keyword and the emphasis is on having vibrant, living faith. When using it as a verb, this series narrows in on the action of “living,” underscoring the messiness of living out our stories of faith in this complex world. We believe this series, “Living Faith in the Everyday,” accentuates both dimensions. In our complex, “everyday” world, in order to have a vibrant faith, one must be living it out in word and deed.
The first week of our worship series opens on a shared ecumenical observance of living our faith together: World Communion Sunday. While this is a great Sunday to highlight the global nature of the universal church, it also presents a unique opportunity for local ecumenical collaboration. Consider reaching out to your local clergy or lay colleagues in the community and asking them to write a prayer to include in your service. Offer the same in return.
As Jack Seymour discusses in his preaching notes, the lectionary passages speak to the notion of “trying to make sense of things” in the wake of disruption and destruction. Similarly, the observance of World Communion Sunday emerged in between times of international warfare. Brokenness abounds. One response, especially as we see in the Psalm reading for this week, is lament. This juxtaposition of lament with Holy Communion is not a typical connection, but an apt one to explore in this week of the series. We worship a God who understands and absorbs the brokenness of the world—the same God who, in Communion, offers us Christ’s body as nourishment, healing, and as “medicine” even, for our souls and for the life of the world.
Perhaps on this World Communion Sunday, we ought to encourage our congregations to offer their brokenness and the world’s brokenness in an intentional way prior to receiving the bread of life that makes us whole. For smaller congregations, this could be a moment of sharing out loud just after the Invitation to the Table. For medium to larger congregations, parishioners could be invited to write down one or a few areas of brokenness (personally, locally, globally) and place that paper in a communal vessel on their way to receiving the bread and cup.