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April 13, 2014

Palm / Passion Sunday

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From the Associate Pastor

          April 13, 2014

     Recently I had a delightful visit with one of our members who lives in a local long-term care facility. As we were saying our goodbyes, the member wondered why we weren’t bringing home communion anymore. Shamefaced, I explained that we sometimes don’t have enough volunteers to deliver communion but that I hoped we would be able to do so again very soon.

     I tell this story not to make you shamefaced, too, but rather to illustrate how much it means to our “homebound” members to receive Extended Home Communion following the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper in Worship here at our church.

     Active and inactive elders and deacons have been serving extended home communion since 2011, but serving communion to members who are sick or infirm was an ancient practice of the early church. Extended Serving embodies the essence of communion with the Risen Lord. For the early Christians who lived in the wake of the resurrection, it was unthinkable that any member of the body of Christ be excluded or omitted from participation at the Lord’s Table. For them, the Lord’s Supper was the vital living sign of the church’s unity in Christ. (Office of Theology and Worship, PCUSA).

     Extended home communion gives our homebound folks the joy of communion with the Risen Lord and also with us. It says to them that Jesus has not forgotten them and that we haven’t forgotten them either; that they are still beloved members of this congregation. It means so very much to our folks- so much, in fact, that they really miss it when we cannot share it with them. The amazing thing is, that those who have served home communion say that it is deeply moving for them, too.

     Serving extended home communion is really easy. You will have a kit with grape juice, bread, cups, napkins and everything you need, including a very short written liturgy. We serve in teams of 2: one elder and one deacon or two elders together. For inactive officers especially, this is a brief, short term but very meaningful way you can continue to serve the church as an officer. Remember, if you were ordained an elder or deacon in another Presbyterian Church, you can serve home communion here, too!

     Between now and the beginning of 2015, there are six opportunities to serve home communion to our 9 homebound members: June 8, July 13, August 10, October 5, November 2 and January 4, 2015. If all inactive and active elders and deacons commit to serving just once per year, we would never again have to tell our homebound members that they won’t be receiving home communion! You can go online at Home Communion Elder/Deacon Sign Up , or contact Sally Dunn (240-645-7669).

I hope everyone has made plans to attend the Agape Feast on Maundy Thursday as we remember the Last Supper Jesus shared with his disciples the night before his suffering and crucifixion. We will hear a beautiful cantata by our Sanctuary choir and celebrate the Lord’s Supper together around tables in the Fellowship Hall. For more details and to RSVP for dinner and childcare, please check the website Maundy Thursday Agape Feast  or call the church office. (704-825-3357)

As we begin the descent into the darkness of Good Friday, unlike Jesus’ disciples, we know with certainty that Easter morning dawns with the good news that Jesus Christ is risen! In our own times of darkness and suffering, may we know with certainty that we are never forgotten and are beloved children of God! Hallelujah!     

Grace and Peace,

   Daria

 

 

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