Lord's Supper

OPEN WOUND, OPEN TABLE: A THEOLOGICAL EXPLORATION OF HOLY COMMUNION AS PRACTICED BY THE BORDER CHURCH/LA IGLESIA FRONTERIZA

Author
Seth David Clark D.Min.
Abstract
This study explores the Border Church, which worships across the San Diego-Tijuana border fence at Friendship Park, and how its weekly bi-national, bilingual, nonsectarian communion service, intersects with the lived realities of its borderlands congregants. Through participant-witness ethnography of my congregation and five semi-structured, open-ended interviews, I examine how God is experienced in Christian practices, especially communion, at the border wall. I conclude that borderlands experiences are not monolithic, which counters false groupings of and “othering” tropes about migrants, deportees, and activists. I also theologize about unity amid division and how to make the bread of the table even more open.

Eucharist as a means of grace for church visioning : recovery of Wesleyan ecclesiology's eschatological aspect of the Eucharist

Author
Marian Sams-Crane
Abstract
This project suggested a new approach to address the challenge of developing a church vision. Drawing upon Wesleyan ecclesiology, the author suggested sharing a basic overview for understanding the eschatological aspect of the Eucharist and applying the experience of the Eucharist at the start of meetings to inspire the development of a church vision in the ensuing meetings. Data from initial surveys, questionnaires, focus groups, and observations evidenced some positive effects on the amount of visioning that church leaders experienced. While further study is needed to be conclusive, the author affirmed the potential for this new approach to church visioning.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Celebrating Communion Why Youth Aren't Hungering to Come to the Lord's Table

Author
Cheryl A Carson
Abstract
This project proposes that many church-attending Christian youth find the sacrament of the Lord's Supper irrelevant and lifeless. The reasons for this disconnect are investigated and imaginative liturgical strategies are sought to help youth passionately engage in communion. Basic qualitative, narrative analysis, and quantitative research were utilized. Data was collected through personal interviews and focus group interviews. The results show that youth generally find communion routine and done so frequently as to be commonplace. However, the findings also reveal that these adolescents are indeed hungering to participate in communion with and experience the presence of the risen Lord.

One bread ... one body strengthening pastoral leaders through communion

Author
Leah S Hidde-Gregory
Abstract
This paper researched the impact of clergy gathering sacramentally for peer support and clergy development as a means of increasing effectiveness and reducing isolation. Sacramental groups comprised of clergy from various education and ordination levels were developed to build community using a Eucharistic ritual template to improve clergy effectiveness and wholeness, increase connectionalism, reduce clergy isolation, and offer support needed to effectively minister to the changing communities within the district. Clergy gathered monthly around a meal, celebrated Holy Communion, and the sharing of ideas and best practices. The analysis of self assessments, supervisory evaluations, interviews, and observations, clergy effectiveness showed some improvement and the factors measuring isolation was greatly reduced.

Weekly Celebration of the Eucharist and Missions

Author
Thomas E Hoeke
Abstract
This project studied the impact that weekly celebration of communion had on missional practices of a small group of eleven participants within a United Methodist congregation. Using an impact study, attitudes towards communion and missions were measured before and after a six-week period of weekly celebration of communion in worship and three mission experiences of the small group. Results of the study indicate that individual disciples are motivated to be the hands and feet of Christ when they participate in communion as part of their weekly worship.

Stirring grace the spirituality of the culinary arts

Author
Robert Melnick
Abstract
From the birth of Christianity, family dinner has provided a steady immersion into Eucharistic spirituality. However as fewer families regularly cook and eat together, this vital link between the feast around the kitchen table and the Eucharistic banquet has been weakened. Using a small group format, this parish-based project provides an antidote for this troubling situation through a program to highlight the spiritual potency of preparing meals and dining in common. By confirming the sacred dignity of cooking, the program helps participants to recognize their work in the kitchen as a significant expression of their baptismal call to their ministry.

Can a Theology of Table Bring Healing and Reconciliation in a Wounded African American Congregation

Author
Patricia A Efion
Abstract
Hurt, anger, and woundedness have long been present in church communities, causing divisions within the church for centuries. This project predicts that by studying the scriptures and the liturgy for Holy Communion church members will develop a theology of table defined as an understanding of Holy Communion that arises out of a profound vision of who Jesus is, his sacrifice for humanity and his commandment to come to the table in remembrance of him. It further predicts that putting that theology into action by hosting a meal for those with whom they are in conflict, healing and reconciliation will take place.

Developing a ministry of extended communion to shut-ins and nursing home residents at the First Presbyterian Church of Burlingame, California

Author
Deborah K Concklin
Abstract
This project sought to serve those who are physically unable to attend church by offering Home Communion in their homes or care facilities. Seven two-person teams composed of church officers carried the consecrated elements directly to the shut-ins each Communion Sunday. In this way, we not only hoped to give our recipients the joy of worship and visitation but also the consolation of knowing they are cared for by their church. The purpose of this project was tri-fold: it endeavored to build personal intimacy with Christ, intimacy with Christ in community, and service beyond the confines of the church.

Detectives of divinity: experiences of God in the life of a church

Author
William E Warren
Abstract
Utilizing focus group research, this project explores experiences of God's presence with adults of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Germantown and what the implications of these experiences are for the church. This project makes use of writings on the nature of sacred space and is informed by a theology of the Eucharist. It concludes that the church finds its calling in being a community of unconditional love where people are invited to be "detectives of divinity" in the everyday realities of life and in their struggles to follow in the way of Jesus.
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