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Take a Deep Breath and Prayerful Pause

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FUMCFW Chapel Communion offers up both an oasis in time and an anchor for listening deeply in each moment.

Holy Communion — or the Lord’s Supper — is a special time in the church as it is one of the two sacraments (or “means of grace”) that are celebrated in the United Methodist Church. In addition to the sacrament as a part of the various worship opportunities here, we also offer a simple, more contemplative full service of Holy Communion every Sunday in our beautiful Leonard Memorial Chapel.

Len Delony1Dr. Len Delony, Associate Pastor (quarter time) of Spiritual Formation who leads this service, says that during this time in Leonard Chapel, we intentionally slow down and let the contemplative music soothe our souls. The traditional Communion liturgy grounds us and helps create a “sanctuary in the heart” where God’s grace and loving presence can be experienced deeply.

This time to pause and listen underneath the busyness of the week can help us experience what is sometimes called “kairos time.” This is also called “God’s time” and is really about being awake and aware of a deeper reality where God is working for good through all things.

This prayerful pause in extended “kairos time” can be a great way to both end and begin the week. “It is a joy for me to be in this weekly service,” Len exclaims. “Leonard Chapel is such a beautiful and intimate space, and the heartfelt music of our gifted musicians, such as Hans Grim and Dace Sultanov, resonates with sacred sounds that help our souls settle deeply into Communion with God and open us to a peace that passes understanding.”

For so many people who come to Chapel Communion, there is a sense of real and intimate presence — of mystery that becomes both an oasis and an anchor. Len admits that we all have difficulties and dark times — times when we feel broken and overwhelmed — yet when we bring our open, vulnerable selves to the Chapel and experience the fullness of God’s loving presence in Communion, we connect deeply with the sacred mystery beyond words.

Chapel_5V9A4666_updatedMany who come to Chapel Communion have hearts that have been broken open. Some have lost a spouse or loved one, and come regularly to feel a deeper connection and tender intimacy with God. “When we share in the manna of Christ, it feeds our souls and helps heal us and make us whole. And through that we become the Body of Christ to help transform the world as we experience and respond to God’s love,” Len explains. “Within this ‘kairos time,’ we find a new ability to let our hearts be opened to live with hope and respond with deep courage.” 

For Len, what really stands out is how often he experiences a deep sharing and gratitude as he looks into people’s eyes. It seems to reflect the source of God’s love and living water that keeps on giving. Come check out our Chapel Communion service from 10:35 – 10:55 am on Sunday mornings in Leonard Memorial Chapel to touch, taste, hear, and see for yourself.

Contact: Dr. Len Delony | ldelony@myfumc.org

For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.

— John 6:33

“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”

— Frederick Buechner, “Now and Then: A Memoir of Vocation”

Did You Know?

Communion questions answered for curious minds

Q. How often do United Methodists take Communion?

A. Each local United Methodist church determines how often to serve Communion. At FUMCFW, Communion is served monthly in the Sanctuary services and in the eleven:eleven celebration and weekly in DiscipleChurch, The Gathering, and our Chapel Communion service. Communion is also celebrated on special days of the year, such as Christmas Eve and Maundy Thursday. “For those who think Communion is only supposed to happen monthly,” Len adds, “I’d like to point out that the main leader of the Methodist Movement, John Wesley, took Communion about four times a week.”

Q. I am not a member of The United Methodist Church. Can I still receive Communion?

A. The table of Holy Communion is Christ’s table, not the table of The United Methodist Church or of the local congregation. The table is open to anyone who seeks to respond to Christ’s love and to lead a new life of peace and love, as the invitation to the table says. “Communion is open to all,” Len says. “It is the Lord’s table and all are welcome. We come with gratitude and humility. None of us come by being ‘good enough’ or trying to be flawless. Our lives are a gift of goodness from God. But we are not flawless. When we humbly bring our brokenness to God’s table, we are healed and made whole as we experience the depth of God’s loving presence.

Q. May a person who has not been baptized participate in Holy Communion?

A. Yes, our church does not seek to close God’s table, although the historic and normal Christian order of the sacraments is baptism first — as birth into the family — and Communion following, as continuing to nurture at the family table. Pastors and congregations reach out and encourage those who partake at the table to share fully in the life of God’s people, including coming to the front after appropriate preparation.

Q. Can children take Communion?

A. In The United Methodist Church, children are welcome to receive Communion. Our Book of Worship explains, “All who intend to lead a Christian life, together with their children, are invited to receive the bread and cup.”

Source: UMC.org, FAQs: Communion

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