Greetings in Christ our Lord,
One of the central parts of our spiritual practice as Christians is the remembrance of the Lord’s Supper at the communion table. As Presbyterians, our tradition is to practice the Lord’s Supper every first Sunday of the month (and at some special services during the year).
July 4, 2021, will mark the first corporate communion service where you can physically come to the table to “take and eat,” following over a year’s worth of waiting! As we have practiced, our anticipation of the feast now comes to a partial culmination — we still wait for the Lord’s Supper as we gather in the Kingdom of God.
The logistics of this are critical, especially as we return to somewhat regular worship in July.
In coordination with the Worship Committee and Session of St. James, we will resume serving pre-cut bread and pre-filled juice cups as a part of our newly updated protocols post-COVID-19. We have learned a lot about how to do things with more caution. Each piece of bread will be distributed to you with tongs as you come to the front. Plastic, pre-filled communion cups will be generously spaced on our communion serving platters for you to take and drink. Once you process back to your pew, taking the communion cup, you can place the cup in the pew holders located next to the Bibles and hymnals.
With each step forward from the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be various levels of comfort around the pace at which we return to the table. If you are uncomfortable being served this way and would prefer to receive communion in your seat or continue to refrain from partaking out of caution — THAT IS OK! You are welcome!! If you even want to get up from your pew and process with your friends to the table, but wish to refrain from partaking, that is also OK! Just say “no, thank you” or cross your arms over your chest. We’re in this together and welcome your expression of receiving communion as we move forward together.
What is essential about communion, aside from logistical questions? Well, according to our theology, it is pretty simple. We come to the table as an earnest response to God’s love and faithfulness which we receive in our baptism and are confirmed daily. Taking communion or not taking communion doesn’t mean you’re more saved or less welcome than the person next to you. Communion is about remembrance and response.
For those who wish to remain at home, you are still encouraged to bring elements to Sunday service on Zoom or Facebook and partake with us at a distance. This is GREAT! The table has moved out into our tables and hearths and homes over the last year. Let’s keep faithfully remembering that!
Finally, as we resume additional pieces of in-person worship, we are taking cautious steps forward regarding food service at other times at the church. Please be patient with us as we discern the best practices and procedures to make our community welcoming and safe for all.
People of God, you are invited to the table. Come, taste, and see the goodness of the Lord.
Grace and peace,