World Communion Sunday is Oct. 7
|Ready for Oct. 7?
When you take the World Communion Sunday Offering on Oct. 7 (or a date designated by your local church) you provide scholarships on both college and graduate levels. The study program must be directly responsive to the mission work of The United Methodist Church, addressing the elimination of poverty, global health, congregational development and leadership development.
The World Communion Offering is divided as follows: 50% Crusade Scholarships (at least ½ must go beyond the U.S.); 35% Ethnic Scholarship program; and 15% Ethnic In-Service Training programs for those seeking second careers in church-related vocations.
to find resources—videos, offering envelopes, and more—that will help you share how the World Communion Offering makes a difference.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WMC) – The United Methodist Church observes six church-wide Special Sundays. World Communion Sunday is one of them, celebrated on the first Sunday of October every year. The focus of this offering is scholarships; scholarships for international students and racial-ethnic students in the United States.
It’s easy sometimes to sit in Michigan and say, “What do these scholarships have to do with me? They seem kind of remote from where I live.” But often things that seem distant in time or miles are actually much closer to home than we think.
Forty years ago a man from Zaire (now DR Congo) visited West Michigan. His name was the Rev. Kayombo Dua Ziyil. His wife, Mpez, and two of his seven children, Ton Ton and Matemba, were with him. Kayombo was in the United States as a Crusade Scholar, studying at Scarritt College in Nashville, TN. Crusade scholarships, then and now, are funded by the World Communion Offering.
Kayombo visited West Michigan’s School of Christian Mission that summer. He talked about how his studies would make him a more effective leader once he returned to Africa. There are those in the Conference who still remember meeting Kayombo and his family.
When Kayombo returned to Zaire, he served as the Conference Evangelist and Christian Educator. His base was Mulungwishi Seminary, a United Methodist-related school that has been training pastors since 1951. Kayombo is now gone but more than his memory lives on.
His son, Ton Ton, was but a babe in arms when he played in the waters of Lake Michigan. Today Ton Ton is a doctor who devotes his life to healing the sick in Lubumbashi, Congo. Daughter Esperance serves in the Communications Office of the General Board of Global Ministries in New York City. She helped with translation services at the recent General Conference in Tampa. Another of Kayombo’s daughters, Yolanda, followed her father into the United Methodist ministry and now serves as a hospital chaplain in the United States.
It is impossible to estimate or track the direct influence Pastor Kayombo had on students during his time at the Seminary. However, we can say that one student on the Mulungwishi campus of his day, J. Kabamba Kiboko, became the first woman ordained in the Southern Congo Conference. That was in 1981. This year she was elected to the Judicial Council.
The scripture base for this year’s World Communion Offering is 2 Corinthians 8:5b (The Message): “They had first given themselves unreservedly to God and to us. The other giving simply flowed out of the purposes of God working in their lives.”
Many good folks in West Michigan shook the hand of the Rev. Kayombo Dua Ziyil those many years ago at School of Mission. They were happy to meet a Crusade Scholar. While they could not look into the future and see this rich and faithful legacy that would unfold, they knew they had met a man who was giving himself “unreservedly to God.”
While we don’t often get such an opportunity to come face-to-face with the World Communion Offering, we can trust that every dollar given to that special offering extends far beyond the life of one student and one moment in time.
stories of how the World Communion Sunday offering changes the world, one life at a time.
~reported by Kay DeMoss, Weekly News Senior Writer