Pastor Craig’s Message About Weekly Communion

Dear Friends: OK, let’s have a “heart to heart” chat, shall we? I thought I asked you last month to pass
along your observations about the topic of weekly communion? Maybe I was not clear enough.

I know you have some opinions, because I am hearing them second and third hand through the grapevine. I would love to hear them from you directly. You know me. You know that I will honor and respect your perspectives and viewpoints, whether they are in sync with my views or not.

We’ve been down this road a number of times in the past on various issues. I’ve always been committed to being a listener. But unless you speak to me, I cannot listen.

So in the meantime, while you craft an email to me or call to set up an appointment, I’ll offer some observations on a few topics I have heard through the “grapevine.”They may not be focused and accurate because … well … because I have had to hear them indirectly. But I’ll give it a shot based on what I think I have heard.

Question: Is weekly communion a done deal?

No. You know me better than that. We’re exploring it. We are trying to take seriously the call to embrace a weekly engagement of the real presence of our Lord in bread and wine, as a core expression of our faith. But it is not a done deal.

Your pastors (Pastor Sarah and I) could institute weekly communion tomorrow if we wished. We are entrusted with complete control over the sacramental life of the congregation. But we also cherish your feedback and your input on this ongoing discussion.

So no, this is not a done deal. We are interested in hearing what you think, no matter where you fall on the issue. But … we … cannot … read …minds. Talk to us … email us … let us know what you think.

Question: Is the experimental period of weekly communion during the Easter season in actuality a sneak attack in which we will start weekly communion and never stop it?

No. The season of Easter ends on Pentecost Sunday and the following Sunday is the festival of The Holy Trinity. That Sunday will conclude our “experiment” of weekly communion this spring. We felt the Easter season was a somewhat short and quite appropriate time to experiment with weekly communion.

As of the first Sunday after Holy Trinity Sunday we will return to our current alternating schedule of Holy Communion.

I do not intend to sound defensive. But I want to be clear. This is a process. We are exploring the practice of weekly communion, because it is a core part of our denominational identity.

We are exploring it because it offers us the clearest expression of grace that God has made available to us on an on-going basis. It is not a “done deal.” It is an exploration.

We want to hear your reactions to the Easter season experiment of weekly communion.

Whether you are a regular worshiper, or an altar guild member, or a communion assistant, or a lector, or an usher. In short, if you’re in the
building on a Sunday morning, we are interested in your observations and reactions to this “experiment.”
I hope to hear from you.

See you in Church …
Pastor Craig

Rev. Craig Ross

Rev. Craig Ross

Senior Pastor

I have always appreciated the positive perspective on life and faith that is here… the broad range of life/social/political perspectives in our congregation… and the staff with whom I am blessed to work.

9 comments

  1. Craig & Betsy,
    I am in favor of weekly communion. It is very meaningfull to me.
    I sent you some of my thoughts re: altar guild in e-mail.
    Thanks, Barb

  2. Alternating Communion does not make sense as we are sinners and need God’s grace on a regular basis.
    Please continue weekly Communion at every Service.
    Tom and Debbie Stover

  3. Thanks for asking! Like the previous responses I appreciate weekly communion. I do ask for serious consideration to be given to “the process” of proceeding to the communion rails & leaving to return to a pew. It’s a “hike” which often becomes a distraction interrupting meditation about the significance of receiving the sacrament.

  4. I prefer to keep it as it is now. I like a weekly message in the sermon to carry me through the week.

  5. I am quite happy with our current communion schedule. There is a lot of work “behind the scenes” to prepare for communion and for clean-up after. If those who feel strongly about communion at every service would volunteer to serve on the Altar Guild, I might change my mind.

  6. Altar Guild Coordinators take on a monthly commitment to set up, clean up, supervise altar guild helpers, vacuum between services, fill candles, and launder the linens used. In addition to the two Sunday services, the coordinator needs to be available to set up and clean up for Sage services, four services Christmas Eve, Ash Wednesday, Holy Thursday, Easter Vigil, three services Easter Sunday, including any Weddings or Funerals that are scheduled or come up that families may wish to have communion. Altar Guild Coordinators also set up for Baptism services. We only have 7 coordinators at this time. Some of the 7 coordinators work, have children and grandchildren in and out of state that they visit, and some are retired. I have been a coordinator for 10+ years. All of the 7 coordinators take on multiple months to make it work without communion at every service. With a congregation as large as ours 24 coordinators would be a perfect amount to help cover all the details of having communion at every service. This would put 2 people on per month and would help when coordinators travel or unfortunately become ill. Members of the congregation can go to the preparation room behind our altar and see all of the instruction for what is needed for the various communions. I would love to meet with members who have a strong desire to have communion at every service so that they can become Altar Guild Coordinators and really be part of the process. I am planning on sending an email to the Pastors and also would like to attend a worship committee meeting as we move forward with this discussion.

  7. As we have jointly communicated previously, our desire is that the church offer weekly communion at all services. Guy & Maryhelen Shawkey

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