Communion.

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In her book “Take This Bread” Sara Miles tells the story of how taking communion one Sunday morning transformed her life and the life of thousands in her city.  “I took communion, I passed the bread to others, and then I kept going, compelled to find new ways to share what I’d experienced.  I started a food pantry and gave away literally tons of fruit and vegetables and cereal around the same altar where I’d first received the body of Christ.  I organized new pantries all over my city to provide hundreds and hundreds of hungry families with free groceries each week.  Without committees or meetings or even an official telephone number, I recruited scores of volunteers and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars.  My new vocation didn’t turn out to be as simple as going to church on Sundays, folding my hands in the pews, and declaring myself “saved.”…..I had to trudge in the rain through housing projects; sit on the curb wiping the runny nose of a psychotic man; stick a battered woman’s .357 Magnum in a cookie tin in the trunk of my car….I learned about the great American scandal of the politics of food, the economy of hunger, and the rules of money….all blown into my life through the restless power of a call to feed people, widening what I thought of as my “community” in ways that were exhilarating, confusing, often scary.”  (from the Prologue)

How do you feel about feeding other people?  What connections do you make to feeding others when you receive communion at The Table?  How might you wonder and share your thinking about this with someone today?

Maundy Thursday

 

Our time together this evening will be rooted in the story of Jesus and his last supper with those closest to him.  We will consider our place at The Lord’s Table and wonder about who might be missing.  We will have a simple supper of soup and bread following our work at different prayer stations around Fellowship Hall.  6-7:15pm.  5265 H Street.
All are welcome.

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Eat.  Drink.  Remember
who I am.

Eat.  Drink.  Remember
who I am
so you can remember
who you are.

Eat.  Drink.  Remember
who I am
so you can remember
who you are
and tell others.

Eat.  Drink.  Remember
who I am
so you can remember
who you are
and tell others
so that all
God’s people
can live
in communion…
in holy communion…..

(from “Kneeling in Jerusalem” by Ann Weems)

Toward Sunday

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We conclude our worship series Give Up Certainty for Lent: Live in the Parables of Jesus as we journey together this week through Holy Week. Please invite your Kitchen Table to join us…

We will gather for a simple meal on Maundy Thursday from 6:00-7:15 pm in the Social Hall on April 17.  This intergenerational worship service will weave music and prayer stations and the story of Jesus’ Last Supper through the lens of Godly Play.  

We will gather for a solemn remembering of Good Friday at 7:00 pm in the Sanctuary on April 18.  We will gather around the cross as we hear the story, pray and remember the crucifixion of Jesus. We will offer a special activity for children ten and under while adults gather in the sanctuary.  

We will gather for Easter Sunrise in the Rose Garden of McKinley Park at 6:30 am.  Easter Sunrise will be a beautiful and reflective gathering in the garden as we celebrate resurrection as the sun rises on Easter morning.  

We will celebrate the beauty and mystery of Easter in the Sanctuary of Central UMC (5265 H Street) at 10:30 am with inspiring music and a relevant message.

Both Easter worship services will be rooted in Matthew 28.1-10.  

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb as the first day of the week was dawning…they were met with utter uncertainty as they felt the tremble of an earthquake and encountered the voices of angels.  You might say that Jesus’ life became a parable.  

If you have been following us online or at home,  how has  it been to give up certainty this Lent and live in the parables of Jesus?  What has been most challenging?  What has been most life-giving?  Finally, what feelings and thoughts come up for you as you consider Jesus’ life and death and resurrection to be a parable?  

Communion

Sometimes movies make things easier for me to understand.  One of the best moments in my movie going life happened in the movie “Places in the heart”.  This movie is set in the Depression in the 1930’s in the South.  A widow (played by Sally Field) and 3 children struggle to make a living from their cotton field.  The film has many complex relationships that reflect the cultural, racial and gender struggles of America.  The Grace of God is made present in the ending scene, when everyone attends worship together.  The scene “sneaks up on you” as it moves from a mundane country church worship service to a view of humanity sharing Communion.  You realize very soon that everyone is “in the room”.  The living and the dead.  The haters and the hated.  The KKK and the African Americans.  The banker who is about to foreclose on the widow and her family.  In the scene God’s Grace is sufficient.   “All means all” plays out right before our eyes.  It is most powerful to see the whole movie, but maybe you can catch a glimpse from the scene below.

 

Open Communion

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Theologian Jurgen Moltmann in his book The Church in the Power of the Spirit sets out the theological rationale for “open invitation” to the Lord’s Supper (pp. 244-246):

“…It is the Lord’s supper, not something organized by a church or a denomination. The church owes its life to the Lord and its fellowship to his supper, not the other way around. Its invitation goes out to all whom he is sent to invite. If a church were to limit the openness of his invitation of its own accord, it would be turning the Lord’s supper into the church’s supper and putting its own fellowship at the centre, not fellowship with him. By using the expression ‘the Lord’s supper’ we are therefore stressing the pre-eminence of Christ above his earthly church and are calling in question every denominationally limited ‘church supper’…

What is true of theology applies to church discipline as well. The Lord’s supper is not the place to practice church discipline; it is first of all the place where the liberating presence of the crucified Lord is celebrated.”

The United Methodist church practices “open invitation” to communion.  All Means All.