This article–which is a sidebar to “Great Communion–a Great Opportunity” by Douglas A. Foster—is adapted from www.greatcommunion.org.
Since the celebration of the bicentennial centers around community-based Communion services, leaders should take steps in their own cities and towns to “make it happen.”
First, talk with other leaders in your own congregation. Explain to them what the bicentennial is all about. Make sure to send them to www.greatcommunion.org to see for themselves.
Second, once your own church is excited about the possibilities, begin contacting other Stone-Campbell churches in your community. A sample letter is provided on the Web site.
Third, after you send the letters, follow up with phone calls to the ministers or elders of the congregations in your mailing. Schedule a face-to-face meeting to plan for Great Communion Sunday 2009.
Fourth, study together the wealth of materials provided at the Great Communion Web site.
Fifth, organize small groups to pray for the service you are planning, as well as the ministries of each member church.
Sixth, talk it up. (The Web site suggests some “talking points,” too.) Share the excitement of the bicentennial celebration with the membership of each church.
Seventh, determine who will take part in leading the special Communion service. Assign areas of responsibility. Talk through the issue of whether or not to use musical instruments in the service.
Eighth, advertise the special Communion service in your bulletins, newsletters, circles, men’s groups, youth and children gatherings, and on the Web site of each participating congregation.
Ninth, share the news with your wider community. This is a great outreach tool. Explain why you are planning the Communion service. Invite the entire community to worship with you.
Tenth, gather in joint worship on Sunday October 4, 2009, to remember the words and vision of Thomas Campbell, celebrate our movement, sing praises to God, and accept Christ’s invitation to his table.