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February 12th Newsletter

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Dear DaySpringers,


Grace and peace be with you. I hope your week is going very well.

 “Is it just me or have we been celebrating communion more often?”

 Several of you have asked. The answer: Yes, we have! You’re not imagining things. Since the fall, we have been celebrating about twice per month, whereas we typically celebrated communion about once/month. Along the way we have experimented with different ways to help us prayerfully engage in the experience:
  • Ministers continue to offer blessings for our children and prayers with individuals (it’s one of our favorite privileges);
  • Simple choruses are included in the worship guide for those who would like to sing (it’s so beautiful to hear you sing during communion);
  • Servers take communion elements down the aisles of the sanctuary to serve those for whom it is difficult to come up front to receive;
  • The Life of the Church move to the beginning of the service has allowed us to end worship on a more contemplative note, whether that is the sermon and music or communion (I’ve been glad for this shift and would like it to continue);
  • You’ve seen all these things but one detail you may not have known is that most Sundays our bread is homemade by Josh Ward or Madi Harner. They do a great job! (If you’re interested in baking for communion, please let me know. We'd love to include you too.)
All of this is not random. In the Gospels and New Testament, the common meal, whether it’s a shared potluck feast or the ritual act of bread and cup, is at the heart of the life of the worshipping community. For most of the church’s history, worship has been experienced as Word and Table. To move toward a more regular practice of communion seems just right. Eating is a powerful act and communion, even more so as a basic way humans connect with one another, with the earth from which our food comes, and with God present to us in the mystery. It’s also how we celebrate. At its heart, communion is about thanksgiving. That’s what “Eucharist” means. It is an act of thanksgiving: for Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection, for one another, for our daily bread, for God’s grace in which we are saved. In our faith in which so much is intangible, the bread and cup are tangible signs of God’s grace and our participation in receiving and sharing in it.

After celebrating communion each Wednesday for over three years during Evening Prayer in our chapel, it’s been especially meaningful to me personally to celebrate it more often with all of you on Sunday mornings over the last few months. I hope it’s been meaningful to you as well. We’re about to come to the beginning of Lent, the 40 days leading to Good Friday and Easter Sunday. As we approach the Lenten season, I’ve been thinking more and more that I'd like us to celebrate communion each Sunday as a church body during Lent. It seems like the time is right to do this.

I think I will find it meaningful, and I have the sense you’d also find it meaningful. So, let’s try it. The first Sunday in Lent is March 1. From then through the Lenten season, we’ll include communion each Sunday as part of our worship. I’ll offer some reflections along the way and welcome yours as well. As we do this, my prayer is that in the giving and receiving we grow in the love of Jesus Christ, whose death and resurrection we remember and celebrate each time we gather, and who welcomes us all to the Table of Grace.

May God’s peace be with you this week. You are in my prayers,

Eric

For more news and information, click HERE for the February 12th newsletter.
Posted by Eric Howell

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