Walking with God theme of global worship
Each year, Anabaptist-related churches around the world are encouraged to worship around a common theme on a Sunday close to January 21, usually the fourth Sunday in January. On that date in 1525, the first Anabaptist baptism took place in Zurich, Switzerland. World Fellowship Sunday provides an opportunity to remember our common roots and celebrate our worldwide koinonia.
The theme of this year’s annual celebration is Walking with God, the same theme of PA 2015, the MWC Assembly held July 2015 in Pennsylvania.
“We gathered in Pennsylvania in July 2015, to walk together in person—all 8,454 of us from 77 different countries,” writes Cesar Garcia, MWC general secretary and a Mennonite Brethren from Colombia, in a letter to USMB about World Fellowship Sunday. “Our next opportunity to gather together is one that does not happen in person for most of us, but is a time when we gather together in spirit, in different time zones all over the world. That will be on World Fellowship Sunday on January 24, 2016,” says Garcia.
Responsibility for preparing worship materials for World Fellowship Sunday rotates among the continents. This year these resources were prepared by MWC officers and are available in English, French and Spanish. The resource packet includes suggested text, songs from the PA 2015 songbook, visual aids for worship, prayer requests, sermon resources including biblical background and application stories as well as suggestions for taking an offering for MWC.
MWC encourages congregations to take a special offering for the global Anabaptist church community by inviting everyone to contribute the cost of at least one lunch in their own community to support the networks and resources of the MWC global Anabaptist church family.
“Sacrificing one lunch is our humble way of giving thanks to God and supporting the ongoing ministry of God through the church,” says MWC resource materials. “The gift of ‘one lunch’ per person once a year is something that all MWC members can do. Some people have resources to give much more than this and should be encouraged to do so. Others with more scarce resources might be encouraged to hear that the executive committee of the MWC, with members from every continent, is confident that most adults all around the world can give the equivalent of one lunch per year for the work of the global church.”
Visit www.mwc-cmm.org/article/world-fellowship-sunday to download the resource materials.
Photo by Dale Gehman: PA 2015 participants worshipped together for a week, focusing on walking with God.