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Update from Pastor Sembly on Holy Communion During the COVID-19 Pandemic
 April 28, 2020
84805935F056Greetings to my Union Bethel Church Family. I pray that this missive finds you and your loved ones in good health.
To say that these are trying times would be an understatement as we and people around the world continue to cope with this COVID-19 pandemic. For nearly two months we have been unable to congregate in our worship facility in response to directives by medical and civilian authorities who have determined that this is necessary for the safety of all.
I am grateful for our members who have provided their skills in technology, which have enabled us to have both ZOOM Video and Conference Call platforms to facilitate Bible Studies, Sunday Morning Worship and meetings.
Every effort has been made to ensure that we retain contact with all our members, especially those who have health challenges.
In addition, I want to say thank you to our Officers who have -- with a sense of regularity -- ensured that the Church remains on schedule regarding our fiscal obligations.
This coming Sunday will mark two consecutive months that we have not been able to participate in the Sacrament of Holy Communion, one of two Sacraments in the Christian Church.
We understand the significance of this Service, which is why I’ve always have prefaced the Service by emphasizing “that we demonstrate our respect and reverence for this Service by refraining from talking and remaining in the sanctuary barring an emergency until the Benediction has been pronounced!“
Since this pandemic there have been several comments and opinions given by Clergy and Laity alike suggesting alternative ways too facilitate the Sacrament such as “drive through” and members administering the sacraments themselves with the use of bread/crackers and juice. While I respect my colleagues who have embraced some of these alternatives, I respectfully chose to refrain from emulating them.
I am mindful of the great desire that each of us has in wanting “Holy Communion” and the operative word is Holy, which is to be consecrated by an Ordained Itinerant Elder and administered in the setting of the sanctuary. The  exception would be of those who through health challenges are confined to either home, hospital or nursing facility.
Beloved, this too, this pandemic will pass. And, when it is determined that we can safely return to our Worship facility -- whatever date that Sunday is -- we shall have a great celebration which will include the Sacrament of Holy Communion!
Remember the words that are a part of our Communion Service: “do this as often as ye do, in remembrance of me!”
I solicit your continued prayers for our Church Family, the Nation, the world and especially those who risk their lives to provide care to all those who have been infected and affected by this virus.
I remain…
In His Service,
Pastor Sembly         

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