Author Topic: Worship can be livestreamed, but communion can't?  (Read 59893 times)

Mbecker

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Re: Worship can be livestreamed, but communion can't?
« Reply #150 on: March 27, 2020, 12:43:27 PM »
hmmmm.  Sounds somewhat familiar:  https://docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=http://shepherdlutheran.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/20200319-Drive-up-Communion.pdf&hl=en_US

However, since then there has been a re-evaluation of the procedure and I'm not sure what is next or whether this will be continuing.  From my perspective and participation it worked quite well.  But I missed the closeness which on-site communion affords.

Thanks, George. I hadn't seen that link.

What Peter describes would work well for a smaller congregation but probably not so well for a larger one.

Blessings!
Matt

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Worship can be livestreamed, but communion can't?
« Reply #151 on: March 27, 2020, 12:43:47 PM »
I think in honesty this is different in the way our two Lutheran denominations would view it.  One (LCMS) has very strict guidelines for Eucharistic participation, the other (ELCA) has by now almost no real guidelines left for Eucharistic participation.  Once the option to commune the non-baptized was opened, that in effect was the end of guidelines of any kind.  So - an underlying participation issue for the Missouri Synod for any reception not directly administered by a rostered pastor is "who got in?"  At home Eucharists can have ad hoc recipients - the Bascoms from down the block popped in and we invited them.  Uh-oh, they're Methodists.  At the same time, the ELCA home administrators would be actually encouraged to bring in anyone who showed up as a form of radical hospitality, so pretty much anyone is eligible.  In either case, there is no discrimination when it comes to administration by the person authorized to administer, which is the pastor. 


To the boldfaced lines: The ELCA has very clear guidelines in The Use of the Means of Grace quoted below.

THE HOLY COMMUNION IS GIVEN TO THE BAPTIZED

Principle 37 Admission to the Sacrament is by invitation of the Lord, presented through the Church to those who are baptized.[1]

Application 37a When adults and older children are baptized, they may be communed for the first time in the service in which they are baptized. Baptismal preparation and continuing catechesis include instruction for Holy Communion.

Background 37b Customs vary on the age and circumstances for admission to the Lordís Supper. The age for communing children continues to be discussed and reviewed in our congregations. When ďA Report on the Study of Confirmation and First CommunionĒ[2] was adopted, a majority of congregations now in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America separated confirmation and reception of Holy Communion and began inviting children to commune in the fifth grade. Since that time a number of congregations have continued to lower the age of communion, especially for school age children. Although A Statement on Communion Practices[3] precluded the communion of infants, members and congregations have become aware of this practice in some congregations of this church, in historical studies of the early centuries of the Church, in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, and in broader ecumenical discussion.

Application 37c Baptized children begin to commune on a regular basis at a time determined through mutual conversation that includes the pastor, the child, and the parents or sponsors involved, within the accepted practices of the congregation. Ordinarily this beginning will occur only when children can eat and drink, and can start to respond to the gift of Christ in the Supper.

Application 37d Infants and children may be communed for the first time during the service in which they are baptized or they may be brought to the altar during communion to receive a blessing.

Application 37e In all cases, participation in Holy Communion is accompanied by catechesis appropriate to the age of the communicant. When infants and young children are communed, the parents and sponsors receive instruction and the children are taught throughout their development.

Background 37f Catechesis, continuing throughout the life of the believer, emphasizes the sacrament as gift, given to faith by and for participation in the community. Such faith is not simply knowledge or intellectual understanding but trust in Godís promises given in the Lordís Supper (ďfor youĒ and ďfor the forgiveness of sinĒ) for the support of the baptized.

Application 37g When an unbaptized person comes to the table seeking Christís presence and is inadvertently communed, neither that person nor the ministers of Communion need be ashamed. Rather, Christís gift of love and mercy to all is praised. That person is invited to learn the faith of the church, be baptized, and thereafter faithfully receive the Holy Communion.

[1] A Statement on Communion Practices, 1989, II.A.2.

[2] "A Report on the Study of Confirmation and First Communion by Lutheran Congregations," Joint Lutheran Commission on the Theology and Practice of Confirmation. (Philadelphia: Lutheran Church in America, 1969).

[3] A Statement on Communion Practices, 1989, II.A.2.


It is not in keeping with our guidelines to open communion to the unbaptized. Not all pastors follow our guidelines.
"The church Ö had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

peter_speckhard

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Re: Worship can be livestreamed, but communion can't?
« Reply #152 on: March 27, 2020, 01:09:35 PM »
hmmmm.  Sounds somewhat familiar:  https://docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=http://shepherdlutheran.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/20200319-Drive-up-Communion.pdf&hl=en_US

However, since then there has been a re-evaluation of the procedure and I'm not sure what is next or whether this will be continuing.  From my perspective and participation it worked quite well.  But I missed the closeness which on-site communion affords.

Thanks, George. I hadn't seen that link.

What Peter describes would work well for a smaller congregation but probably not so well for a larger one.

Blessings!
Matt
Not so sure about that. The pastor doing it has a congregation with a school; not huge, but not a small congregation, either.

He also does it two people/households at a time by having them on separate sides of the sanctuary. The key is simply the time frame. It could be done via appointment or by published, open "office hours" so to speak. we have two pastors, so we could take turns. And if there are gaps with nobody there, so what? We have to sit around somewhere. We can bring books and computers into the sanctuary and do pretty much whatever we were going to be doing anyway while we wait for people to come.

Another pastor friend with a large church (800 average attendance) said he and the staff were simply calling everyone in the congregation on the phone one by one to see how they were doing. He said he found it surprising that the younger people and newer members were far more likely to pick up the phone and want to talk. The older people and long time members mostly either didn't answer or else just said they're doing fine and thanks for calling to check on them. Granted, that doesn't solve anything about Communion. But still, you can't just not do church because everyone is supposed to stay away from each other.   

Mbecker

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Re: Worship can be livestreamed, but communion can't?
« Reply #153 on: March 27, 2020, 01:26:12 PM »
My friend and colleague Nick Denysenko, whose office is just down the hall from mine, recently wrote a piece about living without the Eucharist. FWIW. Nick is a deacon in the OCA.

https://www.praytellblog.com/index.php/2020/03/19/eucharistic-living-without-the-eucharist/

https://www.valpo.edu/academics/about-the-faculty/university-chairs/denysenko/

M. Becker

Richard Johnson

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Re: Worship can be livestreamed, but communion can't?
« Reply #154 on: March 27, 2020, 02:33:50 PM »

It is not in keeping with our guidelines to open communion to the unbaptized. Not all pastors follow our guidelines.

Actually not very many pastors follow our guidelines. But be that as it may, when guidelines are widely not followed, they really don't amount to much, do they?
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

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Re: Worship can be livestreamed, but communion can't?
« Reply #155 on: March 27, 2020, 02:37:17 PM »
Had a zoom meeting last night with some old pastor friends, and one of them is doing something I think I might imitate. He opens the church during set hours and allows one person/household at a time (have to wait your turn in the car or narthex) to come into the sanctuary, where he does a brief communion service, including Confession/Absolution, Creed, Lord's Prayer, Institution, Distribution, Prayers, Benediction. Only takes a few minutes really. Basically, all it amounts to is doing an abbreviated shut-in visit, except instead of the pastor going around the homebound, the people come to him, but stay away from each other.

Not ideal, to be sure, but certainly no real spiritual/theological issues.   

How does he maintain six foot distance between himself and the parishioners? Do they receive in both kinds?
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

peter_speckhard

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Re: Worship can be livestreamed, but communion can't?
« Reply #156 on: March 27, 2020, 03:15:37 PM »
Had a zoom meeting last night with some old pastor friends, and one of them is doing something I think I might imitate. He opens the church during set hours and allows one person/household at a time (have to wait your turn in the car or narthex) to come into the sanctuary, where he does a brief communion service, including Confession/Absolution, Creed, Lord's Prayer, Institution, Distribution, Prayers, Benediction. Only takes a few minutes really. Basically, all it amounts to is doing an abbreviated shut-in visit, except instead of the pastor going around the homebound, the people come to him, but stay away from each other.

Not ideal, to be sure, but certainly no real spiritual/theological issues.   
I think he wears a glove and reaches out to place the wafer in their hands, and simply gestures for them to take their own individual cup. I suppose he could stand back and simply gesture to the wafer, too.

How does he maintain six foot distance between himself and the parishioners? Do they receive in both kinds?

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Worship can be livestreamed, but communion can't?
« Reply #157 on: March 27, 2020, 04:57:28 PM »

It is not in keeping with our guidelines to open communion to the unbaptized. Not all pastors follow our guidelines.

Actually not very many pastors follow our guidelines. But be that as it may, when guidelines are widely not followed, they really don't amount to much, do they?


I suspect that the many who do arenít making headlines like those who donít. We just donít hear about whatís happening at Peace Lutheran in Grass Valley like we do about Ebenezer Lutheran in San Francisco.
"The church Ö had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Dave Benke

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Re: Worship can be livestreamed, but communion can't?
« Reply #158 on: March 27, 2020, 05:01:45 PM »
I think it would be meet, right and salutary for the ECLA to take a church-wide survey of admission practice with regard to the Eucharist according to the ELCA guidelines as they've been presented.  Let's say 90% of the congregations/pastors follow them.  At least you'd know that and it would indicate the guidelines are working.  If it's 42%, then the guidelines are toast.

Dave Benke

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Re: Worship can be livestreamed, but communion can't?
« Reply #159 on: March 27, 2020, 05:29:11 PM »
My experience of nearly four decades in New Jersey would suggest that at least 90% of the congregations in New jersey followed ELCA guidelines.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Former national staff Lutheran Church in America And the Lutheran world Federation, Geneva. Former journalist. Now retired and living in Minneapolis.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Worship can be livestreamed, but communion can't?
« Reply #160 on: March 27, 2020, 06:31:04 PM »
My experience of nearly four decades in New Jersey would suggest that at least 90% of the congregations in New jersey followed ELCA guidelines.


I can't speak for my present conference, since I've never been to a conference meeting (outside a caucus at synod assemblies). It's about a three hour drive one-way to where the conference meetings. Spending six hours in the car for an hour meeting didn't seem like good time management.


My last conference, where I did go to conference meeting, I would guess all ten congregations followed the guidelines. (Richard Johnson was in the same conference and has been then longer than I was. He can offer his opinion.)
"The church Ö had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

peter_speckhard

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Re: Worship can be livestreamed, but communion can't?
« Reply #161 on: March 27, 2020, 06:47:53 PM »
The last ten years or so, though, have seen the massive switch to the Gospel of inclusivity. Congregations that might have had traditional practice a few years ago could be doing something different now.

pastorg1@aol.com

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Re: Worship can be livestreamed, but communion can't?
« Reply #162 on: March 27, 2020, 07:04:50 PM »
Had a zoom meeting last night with some old pastor friends, and one of them is doing something I think I might imitate. He opens the church during set hours and allows one person/household at a time (have to wait your turn in the car or narthex) to come into the sanctuary, where he does a brief communion service, including Confession/Absolution, Creed, Lord's Prayer, Institution, Distribution, Prayers, Benediction. Only takes a few minutes really. Basically, all it amounts to is doing an abbreviated shut-in visit, except instead of the pastor going around the homebound, the people come to him, but stay away from each other.

Not ideal, to be sure, but certainly no real spiritual/theological issues.   

I like this idea. Showing up counts. Thatís what the Incarnation is all about.

How does he maintain six foot distance between himself and the parishioners? Do they receive in both kinds?
« Last Edit: March 28, 2020, 03:52:43 PM by pastorg1@aol.com »
Pete Garrison

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Worship can be livestreamed, but communion can't?
« Reply #163 on: March 27, 2020, 07:08:13 PM »
The last ten years or so, though, have seen the massive switch to the Gospel of inclusivity. Congregations that might have had traditional practice a few years ago could be doing something different now.


Yes, our brand of Lutheranism has moved from the Galesburg Rule to including all the baptized at the Lord's Table. The 1978 Statement on Communion Practices (which was adopted by the ELCA in 1989) said:


Holy communion is the sacramental meal of the new people of God who are called and incorporated into the body of Christ through baptism. Whenever the sacrament is celebrated it should be open to all such people who are present and ready for admission. (II.A.1.)


I've already quoted the section in the 1997 The Use of the Means of Grace that it is for the baptized.


Where we have become more inclusive is to invite baptized children and baptized members of other denominations to commune with us. It is no longer a Meal offered to confirmed Lutherans.


The fact that some ELCA pastors may not follow the guidelines doesn't mean that we have no guidelines. Would you say that the LCMS practices open communion because some of its pastors have open communion?
"The church Ö had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Richard Johnson

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Re: Worship can be livestreamed, but communion can't?
« Reply #164 on: March 27, 2020, 09:15:58 PM »

It is not in keeping with our guidelines to open communion to the unbaptized. Not all pastors follow our guidelines.

Actually not very many pastors follow our guidelines. But be that as it may, when guidelines are widely not followed, they really don't amount to much, do they?


I suspect that the many who do arenít making headlines like those who donít. We just donít hear about whatís happening at Peace Lutheran in Grass Valley like we do about Ebenezer Lutheran in San Francisco.

Nearly every ELCA congregation in N. Calif. I've visited--including my previous one--have invited the unbaptized to participate in the Eucharist.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS