“Sharing in the sacrament of Holy Communion has always been a central act of Christian community. It is the meal that marks the members of the Body of Christ. Questions have been raised about sharing in this holy meal during these days when we cannot meet together physically.
“This Holy Mystery” is the United Methodist document that explains communion. It says, “Holy Communion is the communion of the church – the gathered community of the faithful, both local and universal. While deeply meaningful to the individuals participating, the sacrament is much more than a personal event. The first-person pronouns throughout the ritual are consistently plural – we, us, our. First Corinthians 10:17 explains that ‘because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.’”
Communion is an act that we all take part in together – as part of the gathered Christian body. During communion, we share food – both spiritual and physical. COVID-19 can be passed from one person to another even before either person shows any signs of illness. This makes the intimate contact involved in the sharing of food and blessings inherently risky.
Because of the theological nature of communion as something that the body of believers does together in the sharing of one loaf, and because of the practical dangers currently involved in close physical contact, it is strongly recommended that we should not take part in communion until it is safe for us to all come together again to worship as one body.”
You may read (re-read) Bishop’s entire statement online.
We hurt with you that worship cannot be in person during this special time of our Christian faith and Christian year. We celebrate with you that we are the Easter people and celebrate Easter each Sunday, whether we are face-to-face or in a virtual community. We pray for you and your families a blessed Easter, a safe time together, and that all of us remain well, looking forward to a time of true celebration when this crisis has passed.
Bishop Jonathan Holston is one of the presenters, offering the Episcopal perspective.
Participation is FREE but you do have to register: https://gbod.org/2V34Bw
Printed below is the tentative agenda:
COVID-19 Black Church SUMMIT
(All times listed are CENTRAL, please add one hour for EASTERN)
1 pm – CONFERENCE STARTS
1: 03 pm – Opening Prayer
1:05 pm – Welcome and Opening Statement of our WHY – to INFORM, INSPIRE and IGNITE
Dr. Michael Bowie, Incoming National Executive Director of SBC21
1:10 pm- Junius B. Dotson, CEO Junius Dotson
1:13 pm – ONLINE SUMMIT Flow and what to expect
Toska Medlock Lee, Interim National Executive Director of SBC21
1:15 pm – Bishop Holston, Episcopal Perspective
1:25 pm – Presenter – Janet Jamieson, CFO, Discipleship Ministries
How the CARES Act Can Help Your Church
1:35 pm – Presenter – Riche L. Butler, Sr. Pastor St. Paul UMC Dallas
We Need to Survive COVID-19: Why Black Church leaders must communicate the narrative
2:00 pm – Presenter – Marvin Moss, Sr. Pastor, Salem UMC, New York, New York
Ground Zero – The Hype is Real
2:32 pm – Presenter – Emanuel Cleaver III, St. James UMC, Kansas City, MO
Social Distancing does not mean Emotional Distancing
2:40 pm – Presenter – Jeffrey Campbell, Associate General Secretary Discipleship Ministries
Making Disciples in the age of COVID-19
2:47 pm – Presenter – Adrienne Zackery, Senior Pastor – Crossroads UMC, Compton, California
Seeing All The People in the age of COVID-19: Partnerships you should consider
2:55 pm – Presenter – Dr. Michael L. Bowie, Jr., Senior Pastor – St. Luke “Community” UMC, Dallas, Texas
Preaching to IGNITE the NEW CHURCH
QUESTION & ANSWER
3:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Everyone is invited to pray daily for our family, neighbors, first responders, healthcare workers, our nation, and our world.
Gracious Lord and merciful Father, You are our Hope and Protector. During this time, we pray for Your protection for our leaders, first responders, health care workers, and our military as they provide needed services and care for others. Watch over those whom we name in our hearts. Quicken them in the hope of Your word and may they find strength from Your guidance.
May those who are sick know You as the supreme Physician and Savior. For those who have lost loved ones, may they find peace and comfort from your Holy Spirit.