A Pastoral Note from Pastor Chris Enstad
Many people have made use of our online worship offerings over these past two weeks and are giving us helpful hints and critiques to make online worship even better the deeper into this time we go. Thank you for your feedback!One question that has been brought to my attention is regarding Holy Communion. Would it be possible to arrange “virtual” Holy Communion so that part of our liturgy can be included in our Sunday worship?
Many pastors and congregations have been asking this same question and we received guidance from our ELCA Division of Worship last week that concurred with my own feelings about this question:
The Lutheran understanding of Holy Communion is that it takes place in the assembly. This means that we would need to consecrate the hosts ahead of time and have a means for the whole congregation to receive it from a common table even while we are apart. Therefore, it is recommended that we “fast” from the sacrament during this time and that is what we will do. It is often the absence of something that makes us pause to think more about it the next time we are in community together. It is also good for us not to make our worship too “normal”… how much more so will we celebrate community when we are finally back together again as a community in each other’s presence?
The order of service we are using is called a Service of the Word without Communion (modified for Good Shepherd). Our worship team and pastors believe this best reflects our church, our theology and our gratitude for being able to gather remotely even while yearning for the day we will all be together once again.
If you have any further questions you can reach out to me or Jared Stellmacher. I am praying every day for you all and the work we are continuing even in this time apart.
Pr. Chris Enstad