Dear Members and Friends of Ark and Dove,
 
You are invited to our fourth live stream worship service this Sunday March 29 at 10:00 am, and you are warmly encouraged to celebrate Communion with your siblings at Ark and Dove online. Online communion? Can we do that? Yes with some guidelines of love.
 
The Office of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA issued an advisory opinion this week on virtual communion. See this article at PCUSA.org. There is a link in the article to the actual advisory opinion. In times of pandemic and emergency, we are allowed and our Session has voted to celebrate communion online, and you can break bread and drink of the vine (wine or grape juice) at home, while watching live stream worship.
 
The Lord's Supper, Communion or Eucharist has multiple names, but the same love is the sacramental feast of the church, where we celebrate Christ's liberation from death and our liberation from sin. The Lord's Supper is a sacrament offered by Jesus to strengthen the church in its ministry, especially for times such as these. Do this in remembrance of me. God offers us nurture and strength at the table and binds us together as believers. The Last Supper of Jesus and his disciples was the first Lord's Supper and was celebrated at the Passover feast in Jerusalem on the night of Jesus' arrest. At this last and first Lord's Supper, Jesus drank from the fruit of the wine, and the Church has ever since followed him, drinking 100% grape juice or wine. They have done that to remember that first supper and to recall Jesus' words, I am the true vine (John 15). By this act Jesus binds us to our Jewish roots and instructs us to celebrate with the fruit of the vine and the Passover bread, which reminds us of liberation from slavery.
 
After the sermon this Sunday, Pastor Jon and I will lead you in a brief Communion liturgy, and then we will take communion together in small groups or alone at home. We will make it clear when to share the bread and the fruit of the vine.
 
"Grape juice, wine? I don't have any at home." Yup, we thought some people might be in that spot and maybe not want to go to the store out of a desire to keep social separation. We have two options for you. You can pick up grape juice in 10 oz factory sealed bottles at church today from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm or tomorrow from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, or you may e-mail me at timsstern@gmail.com and the Session will arrange to have grape juice delivered to your home tonight or Saturday. Jesus told the disciples, as recorded in Luke 24, that he was eager to share the Last Supper with his disciples. We (the Session of Ark and Dove) are eager to share the Lord's Supper with you virtually on Sunday at 10:00 AM.
 
In this time of COVID-19, I am very grateful for the many leaders and members of the Ark and Dove Community who are going the extra mile and miles to maintain fellowship, community and the bonds of Christian love. Each day, I become more aware of the multitude of ways you are demonstrating care and goodwill in your circles of family, friends and fellowship. I pray that God will continue to empower and sustain you and undergird your works of faith.
 
 
In Christ's peace,
Tim
timsstern@gmail.com