As Pastor Inger wrote to the congregation in the June newsletter, even as regulations ease, public health officials consistently predict a long trajectory for this pandemic, and religious gatherings are considered highly contagious events. The acts of singing, sharing communion, and the familiarity of people across households – things we treasure and celebrate at SMLC – also create more risk for spreading the virus. For now, Tiny Desk Worship allows a more robust worship than we can offer in person, and continues to protect and include our most vulnerable.
However, Tiny Desk Worship, as a pre-recorded service that we access at different times, does not include communion. Consecrated bread and wine, means of God’s grace, are ways that we are tangibly comforted and strengthened by God’s presence, and might be one of the things you are missing and need the most. There have always been provisions for communion to be offered in special circumstances: the gluten-free bread blessed at a distance, the pastor bringing the sacrament to hospital rooms or nursing homes, or a smaller assembly gathering at the edge of Phelps Lake as part of a “Walk and Worship.” Leaning on these foundations, even as we extend Tiny Desk Worship into the foreseeable future, I am going to begin offering socially distanced outdoor communions for households. Each household will be their own altar guild, providing their own bread and wine.
Intimidated? Don’t be! Check out this kitchen devotion and walk-through of a scaled down communion bread recipe our altar guild often uses: