This coming Sunday is World Communion Sunday, a day in which we celebrate the Lord’s Supper with churches all around the world. The diversity of the global church is as wide-ranging as the various flavors of breads that will be broken, and yet our one Lord Jesus Christ, our one faith in him, and our one baptism into his Church sustain our unity as the global church.
At IPC, we have the joy and privilege of participating in a number of global mission partnerships each year. This year, we took two mission trips to Chiapas, Mexico, and one to Rwanda. Throughout each trip, we worshiped with local churches, partnered with them in their work of evangelism and discipleship, and reflected on the rich abundance that flows from the Holy Spirit at work in the world. Each mission trip offers opportunity for cross-cultural connections and faith formation.
While reflecting on the youth trip to Mexico, Bebe Holloway wrote, “Our group felt a true connection with the villagers as we worked side by side with them.” She also described the impact the trip made on her faith: “I would recommend this trip to all youth because of how much I grew in my faith during my time in Chiapas.” Ellen Dulin, who participated in the mission trip to Rwanda, offered similar reflections on the profound connections forged through church partnership: “I had never felt more included and God’s light was brightly shining in every kid we high-fived or even as a person passing by looked you in the eyes and gave you a smile.”
This Sunday, we will open applications for next year’s mission trips. We will again offer two trips to Chiapas, one for families and one for youth, a trip to Mwandi, and a young adult trip to the US/Mexico border. Information and applications will be available in the parlor before and after each service, and you will be able to speak with participants from this year’s mission trips if you have any questions.
In the first chapter of Acts, Christ promises the Holy Spirit and sends his disciples forth, declaring that they will be his witnesses here, there, and everywhere (“in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”). At IPC, we continue to look for ways to join God’s mission both locally and globally, knowing that it is the Spirit who equips us to bear faithful witness to Christ in all the world, whether in our daily work and play, or on a global adventure.
Join us this Sunday for a festive service of worship as we celebrate all that God is doing through the church, to the ends of the earth and until the end of the age!
Grace and peace,
Rev. Brian Lays, associate pastor and director of Congregational Ministries