I rarely write two articles for the same issue of our Trinity Times church newsletter, but I wanted to address two matters with you that I think are important.
The first deals with communion. With the administration of communion the first Sunday in September (Sunday, the 6th), you will be able to participate in communion remotely along with the congregation gathered at the church building. For this to be done properly, the elders ask that you contact your elder shepherd to receive the elements (fellowship cups containing a wafer and grape juice) ahead of time (by Saturday, the 5th at the latest please).
In accordance with Scripture and our denomination’s standards (the Westminster Confession of Faith along with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms and the Book of Church Order), we understand communion to be a “coming together” meal of the church’s membership (in person). Even so, in a coronavirus atmosphere, this is difficult to achieve when the congregation remains dispersed until society opens up more widely. It is the elders hope that you participating in communion Sunday morning will help you feel more a part of your church fellowship, though you remain separate from those worshipping at the building.
The communion part of the worship service will not be saved to the final video that can be accessed on the church’s Facebook page, typically later the same day. There are a couple of reasons for why that is. The elders cannot exercise oversight of those partaking of the sacrament in a video reproduction viewed at a later time. And, it is possible unbelievers or those under the discipline of the church would participate, and in so doing, transgress the commands of Scripture found in I Corinthians 11:27-34.
I think everyone would agree that the very best situation is all of us gathered in the same room, participating together as an in-person body of the Church. But, for various reasons that isn’t possible presently. Oh, how we should long to be together soon!
The second matter concerns health recommendations for the church gathered during the pandemic. Elsewhere in this newsletter you’ll find a sheet outlining 7 recommendations for church gathering during COVID-19. The reason I share this is because of who it is that is doing the recommending – Christian doctors and dentists. These men and women are our brothers and sisters in Christ; they are not politicians, they are health care professionals of the first order. Their recommendations concern the Church, local congregations of which they all belong to and participate in. Personally, what they have to say goes a long way with me and their inputs are also welcomed by the Session. You can read further what they have to say, to include a statement of faith, at their website, cmda.org.
Please don’t hesitate, dear friends, to let me know how I can minister to you while we slog through this pandemic together. Please let me know how I can pray for you – elsewhere in this newsletter, I share how you can pray for me. Thanks so much, and I look forward to seeing you soon!
Warmly in Jesus,