This service was prepared for World Communion Sunday, the first Sunday in October, at Blythefield Christian Reformed Church. The service included songs from around the world sung by the congregation and/or choir, with several instrumentalists, and also a procession of flags of countries from around the world. Christian Reformed World Missions has sets of these flags and standards available for borrowing; many churches also use them for Pentecost Sunday or for services when especially remembering world missions, which many churches focus on during Epiphany. To reserve a set for your congregation, call Bill Thornburg at 616-224-0848 (in West Michigan) or contact a World Missions regional representative (available at www.crwm.org).
We Gather for Worship
Call to Worship: “Uyai Mose/Come, All You People” (Zimbabwe) SNC 4
Processional and Presentation of the Flags of the Nations
Songs of Praise
“Te vengo a decir/I’ve Come to Tell” (Spanish) PsH 250
“No hay dios tan grande/There’s No God as Great” (Spanish) PsH 517, SFL 240
Our Profession (from the Belgic Confession, art. 27)
What do you believe about the church of Christ?
We believe and confess one single catholic or universal church—a holy congregation and gathering of true Christian believers.
What binds them all together?
They await their entire salvation in Jesus Christ, are washed by his blood, and sanctified and sealed by the Holy Spirit.
How big is this church?
This holy church is not confined, bound, or limited to a certain place or certain persons. But it is spread and dispersed throughout the entire world, though still joined and united in heart and will, in one and the same Spirit, by the power of faith.
Prayer for the Church Around the World
We Listen to God’s Word
Song of Preparation: “As We Gather at Your Table” (American Folk Tune) SNC 245
Scripture: Psalm 63
Sermon: “Let’s Get Together Around the Table”
We Celebrate Communion
Invitation to the Table
Song of Preparation: “Let Us Break Bread Together” (African-American Spiritual) PsH 304, PH 513, RL 545, TWC 776
Our Participation in the Bread
Songs for Meditation (Choir)
“Santo, santo, santo, mi corazón/Holy, Holy, Holy, My Heart” (Spanish; also includes ranslations in Dutch, French, Korean) SNC 19
“He Came Down” (Cameroon) SNC 92
“Let Us Talents and Tongues Employ” (Jamaican) SNC 258
Our Participation in the Cup
Songs for Meditation
“Oh, qué bueno es Jesús/Oh, How Good Is Christ the Lord” (Spanish) PsH 401
“Christ, You are the Fullness” (Korean) PsH 229
“Santo, santo, santo, mi corazón/Holy, Holy, Holy, My Heart” SNC 19
Prayer of Thanksgiving
We Offer Our Lives in Service
We Go Out with Thanksgiving
Song: “Oh, For a Thousand Tongues to Sing” (st. 1-6) PsH 501, PH 466, RL 363, SFL 19, TH 164, TWC 130
Song of Response: “Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing” (st. 7)
Unity of the Church
Though not a specific day on the calendar of the Christian year, the unity of the church is a theme that needs constant attention. In a day of embarrassing fractures, congregations must step back from their own local concerns and highlight the unity of the body for which Jesus himself prayed (John 17:20-21). Such observances also give the church an opportunity to recommit itself to a life of unity.
The unity of the church needs to be observed and valued on several levels. Local unity sees worshipers of a local community experiencing their oneness in Christ without regard to their diverse experiences, ethnicity, opinions, or gender. Generational unity sees worshipers of all age levels sharing their oneness in Christ and encouraging one another. Historical unity sees the worshipers of today affirming their oneness with those who have gone before, perhaps many centuries before. Global unity sees God’s people of a variety of cultures and traditions affirming one another’s value, praying for one another, and joining in service together. Each of these dimensions demonstrates that unity does not imply uniformity.
Though this theme may be highlighted often during the Christian year, two occasions are especially appropriate. Worldwide Communion Sunday in October gives local churches the opportunity to come to the Lord’s table with the awareness of brothers and sisters of many churches and cultures who are doing the same. Pentecost Sunday, when the apostles proclaimed the gospel in every language, is a time for the church to celebrate the Spirit’s work in calling us together as Christ’s body. These times of worship may include scriptural texts that emphasize the importance of solidarity in Christ; creeds and confessional statements that point to our unity; prayers of thanksgiving and intercession for the entire body of Christ; and sensitivity toward those parts of the body of Christ that are suffering.
—from The Worship Sourcebook