As the world shelters in place in the face of the COVID-19 virus, congregations everywhere scramble to find new ways to be the church in the current reality. But what happens to the Lord’s Supper? How do Reformed Christians (not just RCA folks, but Presbyterians, UCC members, Christian Reformed worshipers, too) celebrate the feast? Or do we? And what could that mean?
The Reformed Church Center at New Brunswick Theological Seminary, working with the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and Western Theological Seminary, is hosting Social Distancing and the Supper—Thoughts to Consider, a free, on-line webinar available via Zoom on Tuesday, March 31, at 7:00 pm EDT. The program, which is open to all, will run between 30 and 45 minutes.
|Mashona Walston, senior pastor of First Church (Reformed) in Albany, NY, is a graduate of New Brunswick Theological Seminary. She is a proponent of neuroscience and prayer as means of providing resilience, and works with individuals, faith groups, and community partners for stronger and more positive relationships on local, national, and global scenes. She will speak on the challenge facing pastors as they try to navigate the current situation.|
|Matthew van Maastricht, pastor of the Altamont, NY, Reformed Church, doctoral candidate at the Free University of Amsterdam, and adjunct faculty member teaching Reformed polity and standards at both Western and New Brunswick Seminaries, will address what Reformed theology and church order says about celebrating the Sacrament remotely. Matthew also serves as General Editor for the Congregational History Series of The Historical Series of the Reformed Church in America and a founding leader of the Society for Protestant Church Polity.|
|John Witvliet is director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and professor of worship, theology, & congregational and ministry studies at Calvin University and Calvin Theological Seminary. The author of several books on worship and congregational song, his areas of interest include the history of Christian worship, worship practices in various denominations, biblical and systematic theology of worship, the role of music and the arts in worship, choral and congregational song and consulting with churches on worship renewal. John will speak on how congregations might “fast” frohe m the Lord’s Supper.|
|Ron Rienstra is Professor of Preachng and Worship Arts at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. Since his ordination in the RCA in 1993, he has lived and ministered at educational institutions in Iowa, Michigan, and California, pursuing his primary interest: helping preachers, congregations, worship teams, and individuals learn to deepen and enliven their gatherings with God. He will look at how we might celebrate Maundy Thursday without the Supper.|
There is no cost for this Zoom gathering, and everybody is welcome, but all participants must register in advance at https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIvdeupqj8ttnZ2ls4JLQEGpFnu6L8c9w to receive an invitation and a link to join the meeting. If the Zoom Meeting is full, we will stream the event on YouTube and on this page.