First Communion Initiative

One of our strategic initiatives in the next several years is to strengthen our worship and music ministry so that our worship services even more transformative than they are now.  One way we are implementing this initiative is by lowering the age of First Communion.  

    This Fall we will be instructing and communing all of our second through fourth graders, and then in the Spring we will be instructing and communing our first graders, kindergarteners, and preschoolers.

    In light of this new Communion practice we want to briefly outline the reasons for making this change.  Pastor Kuenzel preached three sermons on this topic over the summer, and you can find them on the Light of Christ website.  Below is also a brief summary of each of these sermons along with links to listen to them.

A Believing Heart  (June 30, 2019)   

In the Small Catechism, Martin Luther says that readiness for Communion requires “a believing heart.”  At its heart, faith is a child-like trust in the love of Jesus.  A child-like trust doesn’t require a certain intellectual ability, which is why we commune adults who are developmentally disabled, and elderly adults who may have dementia.  We believe our children have a child-like trust in the love of Jesus, which means that they are ready to receive Holy Communion.

All Are Welcome at the Table  (July 14, 2019)

We confess that all who come with a “believing heart” are welcome at the Lord’s Table.  However, we have one exception: our children who are third grade and younger.  We are afraid that this sends the wrong message to our children – that they are a part of God’s family, but not completely; they belong, but not entirely.  We want them to feel and know that they belong fully to the family of God.  Welcoming them to the Lord’s Table when they are toddlers will deepen their sense of belonging to Jesus and to everyone else who belongs to Jesus.

Standing Under the Mystery  (July 21, 2019)

    We believe that Holy Communion is ultimately a mystery.  It is beyond our understanding.  We can understand the essential things about Holy Communion but not everything.  Even though we can, and should, grow in our understanding of the Lord’s Supper over a lifetime, we don’t “understand” the mystery as much as we “stand under” the mystery.  We can “stand under” and “live into” this mystery at any age.  

First Communion Instruction

We will hold two identical instruction sessions for our second, third, and fourth graders and at least one of their parents.  Children and parents need to attend only one.

Thursday, October 3, 2019    5:00 – 8:00 PM
Sunday, October 6, 2019         3:00 -- 6:00 PM

    At these instruction sessions we will make First Communion banners, paint First Communion chalices, and make the bread for our First Communion services.  Pastor Kuenzel and Kirsten will also be doing some instruction on the meaning and practice of Holy Communion.  In addition, we will have children and parents do some instruction at home by completing a booklet called   and by watching the movie The Prince of Egypt.

First Communion Services

    Because of space limitations in the sanctuary we will be holding three identical First Communion services. We need to have you register for one of these services in advance since we have room for only about 20-25 families per service.  You are encouraged to invite other family members, Godparents, and close friends to these services.  The dates and times of these services are as follows.

Sundays: October 27, November 10, and November 17 @ 3:00 PM

    Finally, please don’t hesitate to contact Pastor K or Kirsten if you have any questions or concerns about this.  We’re happy to have more conversation about this faith milestone in the lives of our children.  

Grace and peace,
First Communion Task Force

Aaron Amdor, Melissa Hilmyer, Gina Nee,
Kirsten Kelly (Director of Children, Youth, and Family), and Pastor Kuenzel


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