Bread Bakers, Family Night, Easter Flowers and more in the E-Newsletter for March 31, 2019 https://mailchi.mp/b3ebb8ce6500/ey7eu7o5mr-1458177
From the Rector
The Rev. Dr. Jared C. Cramer, SCP
Many years ago, when I first came to St. John's, the community was wrestling with the question of what kind of bread to use in communion.
Some like wafers. Some liked regular bread. Various approaches had been tried but none of them had left anyone truly happy. When I first got here, I moved us back to regular wafers so we could have some time and space to make a more permanent decision on this question.
After some time, we had what became our first Worship Gathering. That is, we gathered everyone interested together in one room and we talked to each other. At the beginning of the Gathering, the group was pretty split between the question of bread versus wafers.
First, I did a small teaching on the history of the bread used in communion. I talked about how leavened bread is the more ancient practice, with unleavened bread being a Roman innovation that began in the 7th century (see more here). In Anglicanism, the reintroduction of leavened bread was a part of the English reformation and it was the Ritualists of the 19th century who helped swing the pendulum back to unleavened wafers (see more here). I also talked about the importance of whichever bread is used being one that is practical. That is, the bread should be able to be procured or made easily and should not cause a mess or significantly more work for the altar guild.
We then did a taste test, trying all the different types of bread which could possibly be used. We talked about what we thought of each one and how its use might impact our celebration of Holy Communion. Finally, at the end, the Gathering decided unanimously to start using home-made leavened bread, using a recipe from St. Gregory' Abbey and to supplement it with gluten-free wafers which would always be available to those with a gluten intolerance (or who simply preferred a wafer).
We have a rotation of four people who make the communion bread, dropping it off at the church on Saturday evening or early Sunday morning, before the 8:30am liturgy. The bread is good from Saturday through Wednesday, where it is also used at our Noon service of Holy Eucharist & Healing. Any liturgies which fall on Thursday or Friday always have a fresh batch of bread made for them.
Our Communion Bread bakers are looking for two or three people who might be interested in joining their ranks. You'll make the bread about once every month or month and a half, depending on the amount of participants. It's a wonderful way to give to the broader community and there are few things more meaningful than seeing bread you have made in your home transformed by the community into the body of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Take a moment to look at our recipe card and if you'd be interested in learning more about joining this ministry, reach out to Cindi who can put you in touch with a bread baker to walk you through making your first batch!
As we look to the next Worship Gathering, scheduled for Monday, April 1, at 6:00pm, we'll spend a part of our time together exploring the question of whether or not to continue using the trial use "Expansive Language" versions of the prayer book liturgies at SJE. If you have not yet done so, please take a moment to fill out this short survey online here so we can know your thoughts.
And please join us on April 1, if you are able, for some conversation surrounding this question and anything else that may come up regarding our worship life as a congregation. I often don't know what the outcome of these conversations will be—but what we come up with as a community, talking to one another, is always immensely better than what I could come up with on my own!
PS ~ Don't forget the spring is a great time to consider joining with others in supporting the beautiful campus we have as a congregation. You can click here to download the brochure with more information for purchasing a brick for the pathway in the St. Francis Garden, which you can then have inscribed in memory or in honor of someone. Small bricks are $100 and large bricks are $500. You can also click here to simply make a gift of any amount to the Landscaping Endowment.
Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, March 31, 2019 https://mailchi.mp/b3ebb8ce6500/ey7eu7o5mr-1458177
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