From Reverend Pat Kriss: Children's Communion Sunday
(Posted October 6, 2018)
One of the things that makes our Church different, as part of the United Church of Christ, is that we don’t make people accept a “creed,” a list of what all are supposed to believe in order to belong here. As a non-creedal church, however, we DO put forth a Statement of Faith, that seeks to take into account our open doors and our extravagant welcome that says, “You belong here.”
Quite often the people who find our open doors come from other faiths, or no particular faith at the time they first visit. Quite often some of our new adults and families have had an experience of Catholicism, where children don’t participate in the Lord’s Supper until they have gone through the rite of First Holy Communion. In the Congregational Church, there is no first communion because we maintain that all people – tall, small, old and young – are invited always to participate.
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Services begin at 10 a.m. All are welcome.
But recently I also realized that our children never really have an introduction to what the bread and the wine, the prayers and the blessings of The Lord’s Supper are all about. So this Sunday, which also happens to be World Communion Sunday, we are declaring Children’s Communion Sunday. It will be like other communion Sundays, except that the service will be shorter, the message brief and understandable for children and youth, and our kids will take up the collection and also bring forward “the elements” of the Lord’s Supper – the chalice and the bread (but there will be some cookies in there as well.) Our children will lead the way for the rest of us coming forward to receive The Bread of Heaven and the Cup of Salvation.
Just as in the Statement of Faith, we learn in our prayers of worship the universal invitation to Christ’s table:
This is the joyful feast of the people of God.
men and women, youth and children,
come from the east and the west,
from the north and the south,
and gather about Christ's table.
This Sunday I hope you will join us, and be led by little children and youth to find the place where all people are welcome, all people are nourished, and all people are One. - Pastor Pat Kriss