World Fellowship Sunday is a celebration that brings us close to our roots and allows us to get together with our family of faith to give thanks to God and to worship.
This is a date when we encourage Anabaptist related churches around the world to worship around a common theme the closest Sunday to January 21, which generally falls on the fourth Sunday of January. In the last 2015 celebration, numerous churches responded to the call and we joined in one voice to sing, to worship and to fellowship.
Reports from numerous churches from different parts of the world were received telling us how their celebration was and what made that day special. Alissa Bender, from Ontario, Canada, said that “…between songs and a congregational potluck they had a very special Sunday at her church …” Hamilton Mennonite Church, with music from different continents, fabrics from different parts of the world to brighten up our worship space, a preacher, MWC staff member and a lunch offering for MWC.
All together as one body marked this date in our calendars and decided to get together in spirit to remember our common roots and to celebrate our koinonia around the world.
“We thank God for one more year He allows us to get together again and celebrate His faithfulness. This activity also helps us to affirm our identity and to remember that we are part of a global community," said Sandra Campos, President of the Asociación de Iglesias Menonitas de Costa Rica (Association of Mennonite Churches in Costa Rica.
Something exciting and significant happened in the Netherlands. Three Mennonite churches got together and celebrated World Fellowship Sunday. They sang and shared the bread together and remembered that as Anabaptists we should give our back to violence. “Symbolically, we have given our back to violence. And in doing so we have given our back to violent people. May be we should yet learn to resist violence from face to face,” said IJke Aalders.
In Colombia that day was celebrated in a different way The MB church Iglesia Torre Fuerte in Bogota, decorated with fabrics from different parts of the world. And with different symbols such as a towel and a washbowl representing service to others and bread and grapes reflecting our responsibility of feeding the needy. “People wore cloth sashes with principles of the Kingdom of God on. We prayed together for our churches in North America and around the world,” said Pastor Sandra Báez.
World Fellowship Sunday gives us the opportunity to meet with God and at the same time with our roots. It reminds us where we come from and where we are heading to. It is a special time to hear about the needs of our brothers and sisters and to walk together.
A series of materials have been made available to the church for enrichment and to give an idea of what this celebration can include. Click here to access the material for 2016.
As part of remembering our peace principles, brothers and sisters of the Iglesia Menonita de Aibonito of Puerto Rico decorated their congregation this way.