Maundy Thursday – April 13

CommunionBreadWine

Maundy Thursday is April 13

We will gather for the observance of Maundy Thursday on April 13, at 7:30 p.m.  You are invited to this first of the Three Holy Days of Holy Week.

There will also be a Maundy Thursday Service at our Shared Ministry partner church – Waldeck Lutheran Church – at 5:45 p.m.

 

An Introduction to Maundy Thursday

The Maundy Thursday service is one of endings and beginnings. What was begun on Ash Wednesday is brought to a close here today. What begins today does not end until the Day of Resurrection. It is the ancient Triduum, “The Three Sacred Days,” which lead us to the celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.
The theme is love, our Savior’s love for us, expressed in the washing of the disciples’ feet, in giving himself in bread and wine, in dying upon the cross. An invitation to confession is given. The focus is on forgiveness. On Ash Wednesday, we began Lent with a major act of confession and ashes, but we did not receive a strong statement of forgiveness in the absolution. That bold announcement of forgiveness comes now, “In the mercy of almighty God,” and “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” at the service celebrating Christ’s love.
The lessons of love are read. A new command derives from it: “Love one another.” The name “Maundy” comes from the first word of the Latin form of John 13:34: “mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos ut et vos diligatis invicem” (“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.”). This self-giving love is demonstrated in the washing of feet.  The prayers are said. The table is made ready. The time of the Lord’s Supper arrives, and our Lord is revealed in bread and wine as once he “revealed himself to his disciples.” It is a solemn moment, but we cannot linger here.  Nor could the Lord, for His betrayal was imminent.
Before we know it, the markings of betrayal are seen before us. The symbol of Christ in our midst, the altar, is stripped bare. Christ is stripped of his power and glory. Good Friday is inescapable. The powers of darkness work upon him.
In silence, we depart without benediction. The Three Sacred Days continue with the Good Friday service tomorrow at 7:00 p.m.  We will also gather on Saturday evening at 7 p.m. for the Vigil of Easter.

 

First Holy Communion

At this special service there will be 7 young people who will be receiving their First Holy Communion.  In preparation for this day they made the bread for use at the service on Maundy Thursday.  Here is a photo of this year’s group.

First Communion Group 2017

 

 

 

First Holy Communion Class 2017

1st Holy Communion Group 2016

First Holy Communion Class begins this month

By Pastor David Tinker

pastordjt@industryinet.com     979-278-3388

 

The First Holy Communion Class will be held over three Sundays in late March and early April.  Each class will be held in the Mission & Ministry Building (New Building behind Parsonage).  See the photo above which shows the 2016 class group with the bread they baked for their First Communion.

Class Dates:  March 26, April 2 and 9 – after worship – starting about 11:00 a.m.

 

First Holy Communion at MLLC is most often offered to students in 5th grade.  There are numerous cases in which there are exceptions to this.  If you and your student, who is not yet in 5th grade, wish to participate in this class please speak with me to make arrangements.  The 5th grade tradition does not prevent younger students from attending the class and receiving Holy Communion.

Students are encouraged to bring a Bible for use in class, as well as paper/pen for any notes they might want to write.  If students don’t have access to a Bible we have one for their use.  Note that each student will be presented with a Bible on First Communion Thursday – April 13 – for his or her personal study and for use in Sunday School, Confirmation and Worship.  Parents/Grandparents are welcome and encouraged to be present at this class time.  We will meet at a table in the Mission and Ministry Building, but will also move to other places in the church facilities for parts of the lessons.

The class will include instruction, discussion, videos, mini-field trips in the building, etc.

We are working to avoid Spring Break weekends for this class, therefore all sessions are after Spring Break.  Please consult with me if you have special needs about family schedules, vacations, parental custody issues, etc.  which could conflict with the posted schedule. I want this opportunity to work for your student.

Notes that one of the Sunday classes will include bread baking by the students.  This bread will be used at their First Communion service.

We will Celebrate our First Holy Communion on:

Thursday, April 13        7:30 p.m.

Maundy Thursday Service, First Holy Communion Day

Presentation of Bible to students during worship – the Church gives to Parent/Grandparent, and then the parent/grandparent presents Bible to student. We will go over this before Thursday so all are ready.

 

Students please arrive by 7:00 p.m. to make sure all our plans are in order for what we will be doing at worship.  Also, families may wish to take photos before worship, and this is the best time to do this.  The altar area will be bare of all decorations, candles, banners, etc. after worship due to the “Stripping of the Altar”.

 

I look forward to exploring this wonderful sacrament with your child.  This is a very exciting time of growth for these young people and for their families.  If you have any questions or needs please feel free to contact me.  Please see the article below about discerning your child’s interest and readiness to receive the sacrament.

 

 

 

How do I know my child is ready to attend First Communion Class?

He or She may. . .

*have expressed interest in participating in Holy Communion during worship, perhaps copying your movements at the altar

*have begun to ask questions about why we take Holy Communion

*have begun to reach for the Holy Communion elements which are offered to you

*have a foundation in Christ through attendance in Christian education or worship, or through family conversations, devotions or prayer

*be able to speak about God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) as loving and trustworthy

*pray the Lord’s Prayer and be able to say other simple prayers (such as at bedtime and meals)

 

The following questions can help you determine the readiness of your child to receive her or his first Holy Communion.

 

The most important question is about God’s gift of Grace for your child:

***** Has your child been baptized?

If your child is not yet baptized, please speak with a pastor to set a date for your child to receive this Sacrament. It is understood that Holy Communion is for the baptized children of God.

 

Other questions to consider:

*Is your child comfortable in various locations around the church, like the altar?

*Does your child have a basic, age-appropriate awareness that God loves him or her?

*Does your child understand the idea of “right” and “wrong”, and can grasp the basic notion of “forgiveness”?

*Will your child extend his or her hands when asked to do so?

*Will your child be able to understand the basic concept that Holy Communion is a gift from God to each person?

*Does your child seem to have a basic trust that they are a child of God?

*Does your child seem interested in what goes on in church during Communion?

*Does your child interact enough with others to receive the bread and wine?

*Is your child aware enough of others in the congregation and their needs to show respect for the communion experience?

*Are you prepared to help make the process positive?

*Are you prepared to continue to fulfill the promises you made at your child’s baptism to bring him or her regularly to the Lord’s Table?

 

 

Only the first question (Has your child been baptized?) requires a “Yes” before your child can be considered ready to receive his or her first communion. Use the others to generate discussion and to plan, in consultation with Pastor David Tinker, for your child’s preparation to begin receiving the sacrament and the gifts it brings.

Contact Pastor David Tinker if you have any questions about Holy Communion. He would be happy to help answer your questions.

Maundy Thursday – March 24

 

CommunionBreadWine

Maundy Thursday is March 24

We will gather for the observance of Maundy Thursday on March 24, at 7 p.m.  You are invited to this first of the Three Holy Days of Holy Week.

An Introduction to Maundy Thursday

The Maundy Thursday service is one of endings and beginnings. What was begun on Ash Wednesday is brought to a close here today. What begins today does not end until the Day of Resurrection. It is the ancient Triduum, “The Three Sacred Days,” which lead us to the celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.
The theme is love, our Savior’s love for us, expressed in the washing of the disciples’ feet, in giving himself in bread and wine, in dying upon the cross. An invitation to confession is given. The focus is on forgiveness. On Ash Wednesday, we began Lent with a major act of confession and ashes, but we did not receive a strong statement of forgiveness in the absolution. That bold announcement of forgiveness comes now, “In the mercy of almighty God,” and “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” at the service celebrating Christ’s love.
The lessons of love are read. A new command derives from it: “Love one another.” The name “Maundy” comes from the first word of the Latin form of John 13:34: ” mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos ut et vos diligatis invicem” (“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.”). This self-giving love is demonstrated in the washing of feet.  The prayers are said. The table is made ready. The time of the Lord’s Supper arrives, and our Lord is revealed in bread and wine as once he “revealed himself to his disciples.” It is a solemn moment, but we cannot linger here.  Nor could the Lord, for His betrayal was imminent.
Before we know it, the markings of betrayal are seen before us. The symbol of Christ in our midst, the altar, is stripped bare. Christ is stripped of his power and glory. Good Friday is inescapable. The powers of darkness work upon him.
In silence, we depart without benediction. The Three Sacred Days continue with the Good Friday service tomorrow at 7:00 p.m.  We will also gather on Saturday evening at 7 p.m. for the Vigil of Easter.

 

First Holy Communion

At this special service there will be 7 young people who will be receiving their First Holy Communion.  In preparation for this day they made the bread for use at the service on Maundy Thursday.

1st Holy Communion Group 2016

 

Preparing for Maundy Thursday

CommunionBreadWineThursday, April 2 is our Maundy Thursday service.  We invite you to gather with the people of God at MLLC at 7:00 p.m.

We believe it is an important and faith enriching experience to be part of these special days.  Worship will be each night at 7:00 p.m.  These Three Days together are called the Great Triduum.

*Maundy Thursday – April 2 – We connect with the events of the Last Supper of Jesus with his Apostles.  We also remember his betrayal and arrest.

*Good Friday – April 3 – We connect with the suffering, death and entombment of Jesus Christ.

*The Great Vigil of Easter – April 4 – We remember the waiting of the followers of Jesus when he was in the tomb and before he was raised from the dead.  We celebrate the victory of the Resurrection from the dead of Jesus.

Here is the introduction we use for Maundy Thursday:

The Maundy Thursday service is one of endings and beginnings. What was begun on Ash Wednesday is brought to a close here today. What begins today does not end until the Day of Resurrection. It is the ancient Triduum, “The Three Sacred Days,” which lead us to the celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.
The theme is love, our Savior’s love for us, expressed in the washing of the disciples’ feet, in giving himself in bread and wine, in dying upon the cross. An invitation to confession is given. The focus is on forgiveness. On Ash Wednesday, we began Lent with a major act of confession and ashes, but we did not receive a strong statement of forgiveness in the absolution. That bold announcement of forgiveness comes now, “In the mercy of almighty God,” and “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” at the service celebrating Christ’s love.
The lessons of love are read. A new command derives from it: “Love one another.” The name “Maundy” comes from the first word of the Latin form of John 13:34: “Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos” (“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.”). This self-giving love is demonstrated in the washing of feet. The prayers are said. The table is made ready. The time of the Lord’s Supper arrives, and our Lord is revealed in bread and wine as once he “revealed himself to his disciples.” It is a solemn moment, but we cannot linger here. Nor could the Lord, for His betrayal was imminent.
Before we know it, the markings of betrayal are seen before us. The symbol of Christ in our midst, the altar, is stripped bare. Christ is stripped of his power and glory. Good Friday is inescapable. The powers of darkness work upon him.
In silence, we depart without benediction. The Three Sacred Days continue with the Good Friday service on April 3 at 7:00 p.m. We will also gather on Saturday evening, April 4 at 7 p.m. for the Vigil of Easter.

Palm Sunday 2015

 

 

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Palm Sunday 2015 is this weekend.  We will have worship on both Saturday night at 6 p.m. and Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m.  Plan your weekend around making sure you are at worship this week for the beginning of Holy Week.

At both services we will do the following things:

*Remember the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.  We will wave palm branches as they did nearly 2000 years ago.  We will give thanks to God for the fulfillment of his prophecy about the coming Messiah and eternal King of Israel.

*We will begin our Holy Week observance.  Click here for the full schedule.

*We will dedicate the Lutheran World Relief quilts and kits.  See the photo above for an image of what we did last year at this time.

 

You are invited to make this the beginning of a very special week as we relive and experience the joys and sorrows of this most important week in human history.

 

Holy Week is Coming Soon

Holy-Week-Worship-Art

The centerpiece of the church year is the season of Lent and the events of Holy Week.  We invite you to be part of our revisiting of these core events in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Click over to our Lent & Holy Week Schedule to find out more.  It is all listed on our recently updated main church page:  Here is the Link.

Triple Baptism – April 19

Vigil 14 Baptism 1

At the Great Vigil of Easter – Saturday, April 19, 2014, we welcomed three new Christians into God’s family:  Tonia, Ally and Judd.  Each of these received the Sacrament of Holy Baptism at the Vigil.  We are very thankful for God’s gift of faith and the work he is already doing in the lives of these three.  As newly baptized Christians they are also new members of MLLC.  Ally and Tonia also received the Sacrament of Holy Communion for the first time as Christians at this service.  It was a joyful evening for all involved.

Check out this page to learn more about our Great Vigil of Easter.

 

The Great Vigil of Easter is the ancient time when New Christians have been baptized.  Every year, including 2014, thousands of people are baptized all over the world at  Great Vigil of Easter services such as we had at MLLC.  Many congregations also use this special service to receive new members into the congregation.  My own son was baptized at the Great Vigil of Easter in 2004 at the congregation I served in North Liberty, Indiana, at that time.

 

Here are some more photos from the baptisms of Tonia, Ally and Judd on April 19.

Vigil Baptism 2 Vigil Baptism 3 Vigil Baptism 4

First Communion is on Maundy Thursday at MLLC

First Holy Communion Prep 1

As part of our Holy Week observance we celebrate the First Holy Communion for our youth.  This year we have one youth who will begin participating in this wonderful Sacrament of the Church.  He has participated in First Holy Communion classes during Lent this year.  This included Bible Study, discussions, a “field trip” to the Sacristy (the room where the communion is prepared, and the communion vessels are stored), decorating a chalice for receiving his First Communion, videos and bread making.

The Junior High Sunday School class helped the student with the bread making.  Much of the bread used for Holy Communion at MLLC is made by our youth, as well as other church members.  Above is a photo of the students and their teacher preparing the bread on Palm Sunday 2014.  This recipe makes a flat bread, and it is cooked almost like a pancake.  Thank you Esther for teaching our youth how to make this bread for this special day.  Very tasty and important ministry.

 

Here are the youth and the First Holy Communion student after they have sampled the finished product.  Our candidate for First Holy Communion is in the red/white plaid shirt, 2nd from the right.

First Holy Communion Prep 2

As part of worship on this Maundy Thursday the student will also receive a Bible from the congregation.  This he will use for personal reading, Sunday School, Confirmation Class, and the like.  We partner with parents in helping them to fulfill the vows they made at their children’s baptism.  There is a line in the liturgy of Holy Baptism which reads, “place in their hands the holy scriptures…” At the Maundy Thursday service a Bible will be given to the parent, and then that Bible will be placed in the hands of the student.  It is a loving ritual form of fulfilling this promise.  Here is a photo of the Bible, next to the Baptismal Font, and  with our Holy Communion banner in the background.

First Holy Communion Bible 14

 

Click here to read more about First Holy Communion at MLLC.

Click here to see our Holy Week Schedule for 2014.

First Communion: Is my child ready to receive?

Image

First Communion Class begins March 9, 2014, at 10:15 a.m.

First Communion will be celebrated on Thursday, April 17, at our 7 p.m. Maundy Thursday Service.

If you would like your child to participate, please contact Pastor David Tinker.  pastordjt@industryinet.com or 979-278-3388

 

How do I know my child is ready to attend First Communion Class?

He/She may. . .

*have expressed interest in participating during worship, perhaps copying your movements at the altar

*have begun to ask questions about why we take Holy Communion

*have begun to reach for the Holy Communion elements which are offered to you

*have a foundation in Christ through attendance in Christian education or worship, or through family conversations, devotions or prayer

*be able to speak about God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) as loving and trustworthy

*pray the Lord’s Prayer and be able to say other simple prayers (such as at bedtime and meals)

 

The following questions can help you determine the readiness of your child to receive her or his first Holy Communion.

 

The most important question is about God’s gift of Grace for your child: 

***** Has your child been baptized?

If your child is not yet baptized, please speak with a pastor to set a date for your child to receive this Sacrament. It is understood that Holy Communion is for the baptized children of God.

 

Other questions to consider:

*Is your child comfortable in various locations around the church, like the altar?

*Does your child have a basic, age-appropriate awareness that God loves him or her?

*Does your child understand the idea of “right” and “wrong”, and can grasp the basic notion of “forgiveness”?

*Will your child extend his or her hands when asked to do so?

*Will your child be able to understand the basic concept that Holy Communion is a gift from God to each person?

*Does your child seem to have a basic trust that they are a child of God?

*Does your child seem interested in what goes on in church during Communion?

*Does your child interact enough with others to receive the bread and wine?

*Is your child aware enough of others in the congregation and their needs to show respect for the communion experience?

*Are you prepared to help make the process positive?

*Are you prepared to continue to fulfill the promises you made at your child’s baptism to bring him or her regularly to the Lord’s Table?

Only the first question requires a “Yes” before your child can be considered ready to receive his or her first communion. Use the others to generate discussion and to plan, in consultation with Pastor David Tinker, for your child’s preparation to begin receiving the sacrament and the gifts it brings.

Contact Pastor David Tinker if you have any questions about Holy Communion. He would be happy to help answer your questions.

 

 

Some history about changes in the practice First Holy Communion:

 

Over a generation ago (1969) many Lutheran congregations began separating First Communion from Confirmation. Thus, they began preparing children to receive their first communion when they reached fifth grade. Both the former American Lutheran Church (ALC) and the former Lutheran Church in America (LCA), predecessor church bodies of our Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), affirmed this practice. In its 1989 publication “A Statement on Communion Practices” the ELCA affirmed the fifth grade and/or ten years of age as an appropriate and desirable guideline for when a young person, after appropriate preparation, may first commune. This is not the end of the story, so please read on.

However, it became apparent that focusing on a particular age as the primary criterion for determining when first communion is received did not adequately consider other important factors, e.g., a child’s maturity, a child’s experience in the church, a child’s family as a supportive context for faith, discipleship and understanding, etc.

After years of study and conversation, in 1997 the ELCA issued a new First Communion guideline as part of a larger document on the centrality of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion in the life of faith.

This document lifts up a biblical based Lutheran understanding of the Sacraments intended to help us avoid a “legalistic” and “mechanical” approach to how parents, pastors, and congregations raise up our children in the Christian faith. Regarding Holy Communion the statement recognizes that:

*“Baptized children may begin to commune on a regular basis at a time determined through mutual conversation that includes the pastor, the child, and the parents or sponsors involved, within the accepted practices of the congregation.”

*“Ordinarily this beginning will occur only when children can eat and drink, and can start to respond to the gift of Christ in the Supper.”

*“In all cases, participation in Holy Communion is accompanied by (instruction) appropriate to the age of the communicant.”

*“There is no command from our Lord regarding the age at which people should be baptized or first communed. Our practice is defined by Christ’s command (“Do this”), Christ’s twin promises of his presence for us and for our need, and the importance of good order in the Church. In all communion practices congregations strive to avoid both reducing the Lord’s Supper to an act effective by its mere performance without faith and narrowing faith to intellectual understanding of Christ’s presence and gifts.”

 

Notes from “The Use of the Means of Grace: A Statement on the Practice of Word and Sacrament”, Augsburg Fortress, 1997, pages 41-43.