This Sunday October 6, there will be no Sunday school for 2nd–6th grades so that we can participate in Word Communion Sunday. There will be normal Sunday school for preschool–first grades. We encourage and invite all families to worship together in the main sanctuary for this special Sunday. Read on for an explanation of why this Sunday is a Sunday you don’t want to miss!
What is World Communion Sunday? On the first Sunday in October, Christians around the world celebrate our unity in Christ. The tradition began at Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1933. The practice gradually took hold in a world fractured by the events of World War II. Today World Communion Sunday is celebrated by many denominations.
Why bring children? On a Sunday dedicated to celebrating Christ’s church, we recognize that children are a vital part of our congregation. At baptism, we welcome children into our church family, the body of Christ, and promise to nurture and guide them in faith. World Communion Sunday is an opportunity to experience worship and communion together. It is an opportunity for children to learn alongside adult guides. On this Sunday, children and adults taste and see what it means to be part of the body of Christ. In an increasingly fractured world, where our children frequently ask me to pray for peace, it is a gift to come together as a beautifully diverse Church.
Are they old enough? At Kenilworth Union, the table is open to people of all ages who seek to follow Christ. God’s love and grace know no age limit. Some parents offer the bread and juice to their toddlers. Other parents choose to wait until they have an intentional conversation with their child. During second grade we offer a milestone event for parents and children to learn together about Holy Communion. Please note that we serve grape juice, not wine. Gluten-free wafers are available in the serving trays.
Will they understand? Holy Communion is a sacred mystery where we encounter God’s grace. It is ok that children don’t know everything about the Lord’s Table. Adults don’t either. Holy Communion has many meanings: at the table we give thanks for all that God has done, we experience fellowship with other Christians, we remember what Jesus has done for us, and we catch a glimpse of the future God intends for the world. Each time we come to the table we will experience something different. God’s grace will meet us and the children where we are.
Is it scary? I hope not. I hope that children experience the warmth and comfort found at the family dinner table. I hope it is a place where they experience God’s unconditional love. I pray it is a place where they are welcomed as the amazing humans God created them to be.
I believe this is a tremendous opportunity for busy families to spend quality time together. Children’s bulletins will be available and the Culbertson room will be open if you desire a flexible seating option. The Rev. Dr. Katie Lancaster will be preaching. Please be in touch if you are in need of resources or conversation regarding children and Holy Communion.
Activities About Holy Communion
- Talk together about Holy Communion using this guide.
- Watch the Godly Play story of the Good Shepherd and World Communion. Wonder together about the questions at the end.
- Bake bread together. This recipe is a tried and true Hides family favorite.