A Summer/Winter Series on Holy Communion
Year B in the Revised Common Lectionary provides the opportunity for Christian congregations everywhere to take a five-week deep dive into the strongest early Christian teaching about Holy Communion recorded in the Bible—the story of the feeding of the 5000 and its aftermath in John's gospel.
The series starts July 29 and continues through all the Sundays of August. That's summer in the global North; winter in the global South.
Discipleship Ministries and the Order of Saint Luke (a Discipleship Ministries affiliate) have available a strong array of resources to strengthen your congregation's study and practice of Holy Communion:
"This Holy Mystery," our denomination's foundational teaching document on Holy Communion -- reaffirmed by the 2012 General Conference -- is available for download from the Discipleship Ministries website. You will also find it in Spanish, Portuguese and French, along with additional support articles, a free study guide, at our "This Holy Mystery" section. These are made all available at no cost thanks to your apportionment giving.
Study guides (in English) are also available. Gayle Carlton Felton's study guide is the gold standard for for older youth and adults. You will want to order one book per participant.
|Carolyn K. Tanner's leader's guide is designed for children and younger youth. You will need to order only one copy per leader. The book comes with permission to reproduce as many of the included handouts as you may need for your classes.|
|You might also use these weeks to engage a small group in a study that enriches your practice of Holy Communion. Don Saliers, Karen Westerfield Tucker, Mark Stamm, Ed Phillips, Ron Anderson, Gennifer Brooks and Robin Knowles Wallace collaborated to produce a thorough and practical explanation and guide for "best practices" for Communion among United Methodists. Taylor Burton-Edwards edited the volume and provides a study guide for small-group use to round it out. See Living into the Mystery: A United Methodist Guide for Celebrating Holy Communion.|
If you are looking to strengthen or start a lay-driven ministry to share the elements with persons who were unable to attend worship, Mark Stamm's Extending the Table: A Guide for a Ministry of Home Communion Serving provides sound and practical guidance.
So… get ready for your deep dive! And come away this summer or winter with a much richer understanding and practice of "this holy mystery."