October 2, 2011 marks the annual observance of World Communion Sunday.
This special Sunday in the church is observed by many denominations in order to celebrate our unity in Christ. The day connects people to the global Christian tradition through liturgy, music, and the sacrament, but ironically, we often do so in the isolation of our own church buildings.
Technology has opened up new ways to realize that unity. We have the entire globe at our fingertips through social media like Facebook and Twitter. A colleague of mine here in Iowa, Rev. Sean McRoberts, and I started talking about what a shame it would be to let that potential for global connection go untapped on a day like World Communion Sunday, so we dreamed up “One Bread, One Body.”
One Bread, One Body envisions churches large and small, from all across the globe, joined together in prayer and celebration. With cell phones in hand, the prayers, tweets, pictures, and thoughts of people all across the globe will be gathered together in worship by using the hashtag: #1bread1body.
There are ways for both individuals and entire congregations to participate in this global prayer experience through the conferencing capabilities of Twubs, a site that aggregates hashtags in a user-friendly way. Join the One Bread, One Body Twub at http://twubs.com/1bread1body
Individuals are invited to share prayers, pictures, thoughts, and responses on Twitter using the hashtag “#1bread1body.” Follow the live feed of everyone’s prayers at bit.ly/1bread1body.
If you do not have or want a Twitter account, you can sign up for a Twubs account and post your thoughts either directly through the Twubs interface at http://twubs.com/1bread1body, or by e-mailing or texting in your contributions. (Once your account is set up, go to “edit my profile” and “edit my settings” to enable posting by e-mail or text.)
Congregations can use this resource in a couple of different ways.
You can broadcast the live feed from bit.ly/1bread1body on screens and monitors during worship on October 2, and encourage worshipers to contribute during worship. (Many will appreciate the permission and encouragement to tweet during worship!)
If your church doesn’t use screens in worship and isn’t comfortable setting one up just for the day, you can still participate by sharing the information in your bulletin and setting up a computer, TV monitor, or screen somewhere outside the sanctuary to show the live feed of prayers coming in from all over the world. The live feed will continue throughout the day on October 2.
To improve access, you can set up a Twubs account for your church so that participants can interact without having to sign up individually. Once the church’s account is created, go to “edit my profile” and “edit my settings” to enable posting by e-mail or text and share the address the site gives you with your congregation. Any text messages, emails, pictures, etc. that are sent to that address from any phone or computer will be posted in the Twub under your congregation’s user name.
We encourage you and your members to contribute prayers and thoughts before World Communion Sunday and/or bring their phones with them to church for worship.
As we approach World Communion Sunday, we want to invite everyone to spread the word “that all may be one.”