As Lutherans, we believe that the Eucharist is the true body and blood of Jesus Christ, given to us for the forgiveness of sins, to bind us together as a community, and to refresh and renew our faith and hope. At Gethsemane, we share communion every Sunday at worship and everyone is welcome without restriction: old, young, from other denominations, other backgrounds, or if you’re unsure of your faith. We welcome you to the table which Christ has set!
We believe that the communion table we share is not our table, but God’s table. Jesus’ table was a table of welcome for all. When Jesus ate with people, he did not first determine if they had been confirmed, completed a class, or whether they were sinless or repentant. He did not require that everyone understood fully what was happening. None of us fully understands the mystery of God’s presence for us in the bread and wine. Gethsemane embraces this in our practices regarding communion.
In the past many churches have had requirements for sharing communion, especially children. We usually waited for children to reach a certain age and then they would complete a series of classes and then they would be allowed to take communion with the rest of the congregation. Many other churches (including Gethsemane) used to wait until young people were confirmed.
We, of course, believe that the children are part of Gethsemane’s family. We want them to be full members of this community with no restrictions on their participation in our practices and their experience of God. If your child is able to eat solid food, we feel they are ready to take communion.
If you would like your child to learn about communion before taking it, or you would like them to reach a certain age, that's oaky too. Our pastor and children's minister can help you prepare them at home wtih books and discussions.
In our Sunday School education classes, our children have on-going education (in age appropriate classes) about the gift and mystery that we receive when we take communion.
For more infomation, please contact Pastor June.