Quiet, Intimate Describe Unique Communion Approach

Post a Comment » Written on December 4th, 2008     
Filed under: News
ALLEGAN, MI (December 4, 2008) – On New Year’s Eve, members of Christ Community Church will participate in “Come & Go Communion,” a service that carries more gravitas than the name might indicate.

Between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., pastor G. Patrick White will celebrate communion eight times with parishioners who have signed up to participate in one of the 15-minute services offered during that time. Each service includes 10 to 25 people, and by the end of the night, as many as 160 people will have attended.

“I look forward to this service as much as any communion experience,” White says.

During the service, the members sit in the first two rows of the sanctuary, and soft music comprising mostly Christmas carols plays. White gives a brief homily that encourages people to remember and renew their covenant to one another. He then follows the liturgy outlined in one of the shortened services from The Covenant Book of Worship.

“The nice thing about it is I’m able to serve and to speak to each person individually,” says White. Members have told him they especially like the quiet and intimacy of the service.

White has been doing the service since he planted the church in 1993. “When you’re in your very beginning stages, you establish traditions or ways of doing things, and I guess this is one of them.”

One year, the church broke with the tradition and conducted what some other churches might call a one-hour “watch service.” Only half the number of people showed up, however. “We switched back the next year,” White says.

White said he got the idea for the service from his now-deceased father who was a United Methodist Church pastor. “I don’t know where dad got it.”

White’s brother, Mike, also is a Methodist pastor and officiates the same communion service the men celebrated with their father. “It’s an evening where we feel especially close to him,” White says.

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