Dear Church Friends,
This Sunday, as we turn the page to October, we will celebrate World Communion Sunday, a time of recalling our connections with the church across the world. We will be using a communion liturgy from the Uniting Church in Australia, and saying a version of the Lord’s Prayer from a New Zealand Prayerbook.
In my time serving in ministry in Australia, there was a wonderful sense of being able to pray for the churches back home and their Sunday worship, as their Sunday services happened some twelve hours after ours. While there, we sang a hymn that held a reminder of the prayers that go up across the world for the work of Christ’s realm and reign, “while earth rolls onward into light.”
1 The day you gave us, God, is ended;
the darkness falls at your request.
To you our morning hymns ascended;
your praise shall sanctify our rest.
2 We thank you that your church, unsleeping
while earth rolls onward into light,
through all the world its watch is keeping,
and never rests by day or night.
3 As over continent and island
each dawn leads on another day,
the voice of prayer is never silent,
nor do the praises die away.
4 So be it, God, your throne shall never,
like earth’s proud empires, pass away.
Your reign endures and grows forever,
until there dawns your glorious day.
Even as we recall the ties that bind us to the church across the world, we remember as well what another hymn has called our “mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won.” We are joined not just in space but also through time, with that great cloud of witnesses with whom we have communion through our risen Lord. These include some who have been a long time in our Father’s house, and others whose loss is still more fresh, all held in heart.
Come, join in communion this Sunday either in person in the sanctuary, or at home as you stream the service, sourcing elements for communion there. Together, we lift our hearts and voices with the church across the world, throughout all generations.
Wishing you God’s blessings through these days of fall,