1 Church Street
East Harwich, MA 02645
A Message from Pastor Dianne
To the People of God at Harwich,
According to Google, searches for prayer were at an all-time high during the height of the pandemic. Six out of ten people in the US and around the world prayed for an end to the pandemic. People were desperate for a solution. But now that COVID is receding, churches have reopened, and we are resuming familiar ways, prayer searches are back to normal. Yet the need for a deep connection with God remains. [from an online Ministry Matters article]
While worship may never be conducted exactly the way it was prior to the pandemic shutdown, some practices are representative of our theology and are worth re-establishing while new practices become part of our “new normal.”
On Sunday morning we had a “retiring offering” where the plate was not passed but left near the entrance to the sanctuary. Since we have learned that passing the plate does not pass COVID, we are once again collecting the offering during the service.
More challenging was the practice of communion. Who should touch the elements and how ought they be distributed? How can we best control social distancing? In preparation for the communion, there is still kitchen protocol. In the sanctuary, we have been receiving communion in both kinds [bread and grape juice] in the pews- like our congregational and Baptist brothers and sisters who emphasize the fellowship aspect of Jesus’ admonition: “do this in remembrance of me.”
However, it has been our Methodist tradition, to come forward to receive communion at the altar railing thereby emphasizing the hearts yearning to encounter the sacred by leaving our pews to approach God. Sometimes this involved kneeling [unless that posture was replaced by standing due to physical challenges] and of course, God’s holy presence was always brought to anyone who could not safely navigate the aisle to the railing. Coming forward has been accomplished in a procession or in groups of persons similar to seatings at a table. This September 4th let’s try approaching the communion table at which Jesus presides. Think about it…..
After church, we fellowship around tables in the Fellowship Hall….
In the Love of Christ,