The bread and the cup Zoomed for you. Can ministers bless the Lord’s Table over Zoom? The worldwide pandemic provides all-new context for this theologically untested—and for some unthinkable—question. It may be time to consider what we mean by “presence.” National guidelines now limit gatherings to 10 people. Churches have transitioned to online services and Zoom meetings. The sermon livestream is no problem—we’re comfortable with the Word transferring digitally. A recent study from the Pew Research Center easily pulled together 50,000 online sermons from Pentecostal to Catholic. Eighty-three percent of American protestant pastors agree that viewing a livestream is an…

A pastor and former CDC medical officer considers the outbreak’s real threats to churches. “Should we cancel or change the way we serve Communion?” The question arose in our weekly staff meeting. Fear from the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak consumed the hearts of our pastors. Our church sits at the intersection of Chinatown and the Lower East Side in New York City. We have a thriving outreach to international Chinese students at nearby New York University. Several days earlier, these overseas students returned from China for their spring semester. To welcome them back, our church planned a significant fellowship event. Although…

On July 20, 1969 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon. Prior to taking their first steps on the lunar surface, Col. Aldrin celebrated communion to honor God who had made their journey possible. After returning to Earth he noted that the first liquid poured on the moon, and the first food ever eaten there, were the bread and wine of communion. [See the Heavens’ Declare section of resources in the Bible Gateway Store] The following video is produced by The John 1010 Project (@John1010proj). [Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, First Liquid Poured on the Moon…

Proposal to let non-Catholic spouses share the Eucharist goes before Rome’s theological watchdog on Thursday. For all the progress made toward bringing evangelicals and Catholics together, the notion of a shared Communion table between the two traditions—each with their own theological and ecclesiastical understanding of the Lord’s Supper—has pretty much always been off the table. Yet, a recent proposal by German bishops aims to allow the Catholic Church to offer the sacrament to certain Protestants—those who are married to practicing Catholics and desire to participate in Communion together. Though the Vatican initially rejected the notion last month, officials will meet…