Thursday, February 01, 2007

A response to Sharky

Dear Sharky
Thank you for your comment concerning the Methodist Church's usage of the Sacrament of Holy Communion.
I assume that you refer to the "exclusive" act of presiding over the sacrament by an ordained minister, because as you may know, laity celebrate the sacramant wherever it is offered.
I do not think that the Methodist church is exclusive to the degree that you hint at. We have, for instance, groups of lay folk who take the elements conscecrated at a communion service to those who cannot attend a Sunday Service. The "Love feast" is also practiced in the context of bible studies and the like.
The church, at least the Methodist Church, does not deny anyone the privilege of celebrating the sacrament. In fact, we have one of the most inclusive views on Holy Communion. Children are allowed to celebrate, and women ministers preside over the sacrament every week - something that is unheard of in many Christian circles.
Is the Methodist church perfect? Not by a long shot! But my sadness is that people are denied the opportunity to celebrate the sacrament, purely on the basis of venue and denominational affiliation. I also appreciate the recognition of ordination for Word and Sacrament, but this does not mean the denial of others celebrating a special event in the Church's life.
Just my simple response to a valid and real question. THANKS for raising this point. I will certainly look more closely at the way I serve and how I allow others their ministry.

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