You can download a pdf copy of all the related letters here.
Beloved St. Andrew community,
We are pleased to let you know that at our December Session meeting, we made a unanimous decision to practice the celebration of communion on a weekly basis. As you know, this is the culmination of recent conversation at St. Andrew, and reflective of a long shift in Christian sacramental practices generally, in our own denomination, and at St. Andrew. This puts us in line with our Reformed theological tradition and Presbyterian polity, and with our current understanding of best practices for our formation as the people of God.
While we understand not everyone finds the same meaning in regular, weekly practice of communion, this is the only way that we can accommodate the needs of all. Throughout the scriptures we are exhorted to practice mutual forbearance, self-giving, and love, especially in those texts that acknowledge we are always looking for the best ways to live together well and in unity (e.g., Ephesians 2 and 4, Romans 2 and 12, 1 Corinthians 1, John 17), as the embodied presence of Christ in and for the world.
We continue to encourage individual practices according to your own conscience. And yet, we encourage you to consider the formative possibility of communion which cannot be controlled or predicted, only trusted. We do not invoke God as much as God happens, as we open ourselves, make ourselves available to these deep practices and the invitation they offer to God’s presence throughout our lives. Consider ritual as a way of thinking with the skin. We absorb the gospel of Jesus Christ in the sacramental practices as much as in words. This is no less true for adults as it is for children. We hope you will let them lead you to the Spirit. Indeed, we invite you not to trust just your Session’s wisdom, but the wisdom of the church that attests through its history that these are worthy activities, values that form us and provide pathways to blessing, and to God’s grace in our lives.
With love and gratitude,
Your St. Andrew Session
Scott Anderson, Moderator
Julie Kae Sigars
Don Patterson, Clerk