Bread for the Journey

I have been privileged to be a part of Christian communities that celebrate Communion differently.  Among these differences:

  • Name: Holy Communion, Lord’s Supper, or Eucharist
  • Frequency: weekly, monthly, or periodically
  • Who Presides: only ordained clergy or only lay leaders or both groups are welcome in this role
  • Presence: a complex continuum of understanding how Jesus is present
  • Elements: (1) bread – a single shared loaf or multiple loaves – single option for all or for most with gluten free also provided (2) wine – grape juice or wine or both

So What?

I cannot imagine engaging in my own faith journey from just one of these perspectives; I have benefited and grown from each of these significant variances named above.  I am also quite well aware that the list I offered touches on only some of the differences while leaving out others, including how and when one partakes.

Whether you have dozens, hundreds or even thousands of experiences each is unique.  Each time you eat the bread and drink from the cup, you participate in something far larger than yourself.  Just this past Sunday I was reminded of this truth with powerful words spoken by Ron Patterson, Senior Pastor of Naples United Church of Christ, who simply said, “This is bread for the journey, not a dinner of doctrine.”

  • Share one recent experience that was especially meaningful.
  • What is your immediate reaction to Patterson’s remark?
  • Explore the richness and diversity of your experiences.  How has such contributed positively to your current understanding of Communion?


  1. Susan says:

    I really liked that “bread for the journey…”

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