Clearly, the sacrament of Communion is difficult for most churches to follow because of the dangers presented by the pandemic. So Manchester UMC created a plan that safely gives everyone the opportunity to participate in the Eucharist.
Called “Communion Circles,” small groups meet outdoors. Each person pre-registers so the number of people varies by event but always meets local health guidelines. Folks bring lawn chairs and sit social-distance style. The elements are pre-packaged in single-serve containers, which are commercially available. After using hand sanitizer, each person picks up one and returns to their seat. The service follows a moving liturgy and is officiated by a member of the clergy.
“I could go every day,” said Gayla Welsh Rothermich, a church member. “Very safe, distanced, inspiring, and (it’s great to be with) in-person participants. Thanks so much. My oasis.”
To accommodate everyone, Manchester UMC offers “Communion Circles” five days per week at various times. They started on Sun., Sept.13 and will conclude on Sun., Oct. 8. Each has been well attended. In true Methodist style, anyone is welcome to participate in the sacrament.