A church in North Carolina has brought an interesting concept to the forefront of Church and technology. Central United Methodist Church in Concord, North Carolina, planned for those attending the online church service to partake in the Holy Communion during the live service.
Online viewers would become online participants as they could pour themselves some grape juice and use any bread or crackers in their home to participate in the breaking of bread and taking of Communion. The Central United Methodist Church senior pastor Andy Langford said,
“We believe that God is not bound by space and time. We believe that when we bless the bread and the cup in one place, if there are others who are worshiping with us, God will bless that bread and cup wherever they are.”
This didn’t completely settle well with the United Methodist leadership, so “the denomination’s leading body, the Council of Bishops, declared a moratorium on all online sacraments, including communion, and called for further study of which practices would be acceptable online.”
While some feel as those participating in the sacraments trivializes what is considered “sacred,” others see this as a step forward. Liquid Church‘s founding pastor, Tim Lucas, points out:
“Paul said, ‘By any means possible, will I share the Gospels.”
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak with Liquid Church’s Online Church Pastor Kenny Jahng, and ask him what his perspective on participating in the sacraments via online church:
Kenny Jahng Talks Online Church Communion
Taking a moment to pause and reflect on how technology should intersect with the Church and how it relates to online communities is certainly a wise move. I will be interested to see how this discussion ends denominationally, as well as the different parameters and defined terms.
So tell me, what do you think about participating in the sacraments and taking Communion via online church?