“As Christians, we are called to walk or to voyage in the way of Christ. To tread lightly on the earth and to sail gently on the seas. We are called to act justly, to be compassionate and to live humbly with our God.”
As part of the inaugural UnitingWorld Sunday event, which launched on 7 May, we asked our long-time friend and partner in Fiji, Reverend James Bhagwan, if he would prepare a sermon on what it means for us to be part of the global body of Christ.
As General Secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC), Rev James is passionate about ecumenism and working together to see justice in our world.
From the deck of the traditional voyaging canoe, the Uto ni Yalo, he shared a video message on 1 Corinthians 12:14-26 ‘one body, many members’ and what the passage means for people in the Pacific.
“As members of the global family of God, the global household of God, we are reminded that we are our sisters’ and brothers’ keepers,” he says.
“In this time of climate crisis, as creation is groaning, as our sisters and brothers continue to cry out for justice: economic justice, political justice, social justice, justice for creation…
We are called to act.”
During his sermon he also extended a generous acknowledgement of the missionaries who travelled across the Pacific islands, and the importance of the continuing partnerships we hold at UnitingWorld.
In addition to the sermon, a full liturgy, information booklet and worship playlist has also been created to help churches host a UnitingWorld Sunday service and learn more about what we do in partnership with the global church.
“The worship resources made it easy to adapt to our congregation,” said Rev Ellie Elia, minister of Glenbrook Uniting Church in NSW.
“The recorded sermon by Rev James Bhagwan was beautiful and powerfully portrayed how we as a local congregation in the Uniting Church in Australia, are a valued part of the ‘crew’ on Christ’s Pacific canoe, through the work of UnitingWorld.
“It was a gift to celebrate and support our global neighbours,” said Rev Ellie.
“The liturgy that was prepared for us was really well done,” said Dr Sue Fairley at Chermside Kedron Uniting Church in QLD. “It’s so exciting to hear about the work of UnitingWorld and to celebrate that this is part of who the Uniting Church is.”
You can host a UnitingWorld Sunday service whenever it suits your church calendar. It’s a great way to connect with our partners and fundraise for their incredible work. You can see the full range of resources and order them for your church at www.unitingworld.org.au/sunday
Watch Rev James’s full sermon below (8 mins).
Direct download video | Full video credits on the Vimeo page.