Bogotá, Colombia - “Walking with God finds its total meaning in fellowship – in the breaking of bread, serving, and meeting the needs of others,” says César García, general secretary of Mennonite World Conference. “It does not mean the absence of challenges, but recognizing we are assured of victory with and through God.”
World Fellowship Sunday, January 24, 2016, calls world Anabaptists to this journey. For six days at Assembly in Pennsylvania in July 2015, more than 8,000 Anabaptists sojourned together; on this Sunday, though divided by time zones and location, García invites MWC member churches to gather together in spirit in their local congregations.
On World Fellowship Sunday, Mennonite and Brethren in Christ believers remember the first Anabaptist baptism performed in Switzerland in 1525. “That act of obedience and courage continues to shape our understanding of what it means to be disciples today,” says García.
World Fellowship Sunday is a reminder that “we belong to each other as sisters and brothers in God’s household,” says García. “We support each other, uphold those who are suffering and being persecuted, and learn from one another.”
A resource package downloadable from mwc-cmm.org contains preaching texts, music suggestions from the PA 2015 songbook, prayer requests and sermon resources for World Fellowship Sunday. The October issue of Courier/Correo/Courrier is also a tool, containing plenary addresses on “Walking with God,” from Assembly 16 in Pennsylvania.
García also invites churches to take a special offering that Sunday in support of the global Anabaptist communion. This offering will be counted toward the national church body’s Fair Share contribution.
Each member might contribute the cost of one lunch. Congregations may follow the service with a fellowship meal or a time of prayer and fasting.
Local Anabaptist congregations held a joint service in Bogota, Colombia, on World Fellowship Sunday in the last few years. “It was a blessing to see how differences are overcome when we look for the presence of the Lamb as the centre of our gatherings,” says García. “We recognized the work of God in our brothers and sisters and our need of them to reach maturity in our faith together.”