World Communion Sunday

Today is World Communion Sunday. Over the years, taking Communion / Lord's Supper / Eucharist on this day has been especially meaningful to me. Rather than seek to say something novel or new, I have collected some wisdom from posts I have written over the years. 2010: I wrote a series of blog posts sharing one big lesson I learned from each of the many denominations that have played a major role in my faith journey.  In my post on the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), I wrote, "The Read More …

Sermon: A Monthly Meal

Sermon Texts: Ephesians 4:1-6 (NRSV) and John 6:24-35 (The Message) Sermon Excerpt Some people like to watch birds.  Other people like to watch the water.   Still others like to watch television or computer screens.  I like to watch people.  It is a habit I carry with me wherever I go, including here in our sacred space. I should, perhaps, begin with a word of thanks to the person or people who chose to place the pastor’s chair in two different but equally wonderful people watching Read More …

Sermon: An Open Invitation

Sermon Text: I Corinthians 11:17-34a (The Message) Sermon Excerpt What is it about kitchens that turn them into places for memorable conversations? Before I share what is perhaps my most memorable kitchen encounter, let me give you a little context.  I had traveled with a rather large church group to another state to do mission work.  We were quite a diverse bunch. The teenagers and college students represented many different Christian traditions, and also included a good number who had Read More …

Online Communion?

As online worship grows in popularity, churches are increasingly tasked with struggling with significant theological issues relating to this new way of being present (virtual presence) in worship.  One obvious area in need of consideration is communion.  More specifically, can Holy Communion / Eucharist / Lord's Supper be a part of an online worship experience? While independent congregations are free to decide the matter for themselves, most congregations who are affiliated with a (or with Read More …

Baptists & Communion Confusion

According to a new survey conducted by LifewayResearch, 96% of Southern Baptist (SB) churches have more inclusive communion practices than are allowed by their denomination's faith statement.  The latest edition (200o) of the Baptist Faith and Message Statement lists baptism and church membership as prerequisites for Communion / Lord's Supper / Eucharist.  According to the survey, 96% of SB allow non-members to participate and 65% allow those who have not been baptized to participate. So Read More …

Election Night Worship?

A grassroots movement hopes that Christian churches will leverage the election night as a way to show their oneness in Christ by celebrating Communion / Eucharist / Lord's Supper in their respective gathering places that evening.   More specifically, Election Day Communion is a time for Christians to come together in our respective churches, regardless of party, political affiliation, or denomination. Let’s all share this sacred act of communion together, reaffirming our allegiance to Read More …

Prayer of Consecration/Blessing for Sunday, August 5

God of new beginnings, we approach your table desiring an enduring connection with you.  In the blessing of this bread and this cup, bring the way of Jesus into focus. Enlarge our view of the abundant life.  Remind us of the call to follow, and strengthen us to travel that path.  May our hunger be fully satisfied with the extravagant provision of the Bread of Life in whose name we pray.  Amen. Read More …

The Table is . . .

Jeremy John, coordinator of the  Crabgrass Christians Initiative and one of the founders of the Occupy Church, recently blogged about his understanding of the Eucharist.  He suggests: The Eucharist gathers us at a particular place, with a particular people, to eat particular food(s) together. While we believe theologically that Christ is present at the table with us, the Eucharist is more about what you do than what you believe. So What? While the Eucharist / Lord's Supper / Holy Communion Read More …

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 Read More …

Preferred Frequency for Communion / Lord’s Supper / Eucharist

The Presbyterian Church USA recently shared the results of their research about the preferred frequency of the sacrament of Holy Communion, which suggests "most Presbyterians worship in congregations that celebrate the Lord’s Supper once a month, and most like that frequency."  Additionally, the research shows:  Three-quarters of members, elders, pastors and non-pastoral ministers are part of a congregation that celebrates the Lord’s Supper once a month. Seven in 10 ministers and three Read More …