A Statement on the Lord's Supper
Our Communion practice reflects our belief that the act of receiving the Sacrament is a public affirmation that one professes and practices the Lutheran faith as it is taught in this congregation. Since the time of the Apostles, the Church has always maintained that sharing in the Holy Communion is a visible manifestation of unity in teaching. Because of this, only Christians receiving spiritual care from the pastor of St. John's who have publicly confessed the Christian faith in the Rite of Confirmation are eligible to receive Communion from our altar. As a courtesy, we also allow Christians who belong to congregations in public fellowship with St. John's to receive Communion when they are visiting.
This ancient practice of "Closed Communion" (which is followed by the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches as well) isn't intended to be unwelcoming, or to imply that we consider ourselves superior to anyone. Rather, it is an honest acknowledgement of the fact that we do not yet share unity in teaching with members of other denominations.
Visitors who have not before received Communion from Pastor Lacey are kindly asked to speak with him, or one of the ushers, before approaching the altar for the first time. Children and adults who aren't yet eligible to receive Holy Communion at St. John's may cross their arms, placing both hands on their shoulders, to indicate they would like a blessing.
If you are interested in learning more about our beliefs and practices or would like to become a member of St. John's, please contact us!