Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Bread and Wine Means of Grace Event

Part two of my Means of Grace event planning series! This one covers Holy Communion in a fun and educational event for children to adults.

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Objective: To teach the meaning of the Sacrament of Holy Communion through an intergenerational event themed around bread and wine

Advertising: Use the same tips as with the Just Water? event. An advertisement for this event could say, "Wine in church? Eating a body and drinking blood? Are we cannibals? Find out the answers to these questions and more at our family fun learning event on Communion!"

Games and activities: As with the Baptism event, any games around the theme will do. The following are some of my favorite ideas.
  • Tour the sacristy with speakers such as the pastor, elders, and members of Ladies Aid explaining their part in preparing the Sacrament
  • Have a bread-making event. Donate the bread to a local food pantry, sell it for fundraising, or let participants take it home. Consider recipes such as matzah bread or no-yeast bread
  • Bread and wine trivia
  • Grape stomping (bonus points if you preface it with an I Love Lucy clip!)
  • Grape toss (like a water balloon toss, but with grapes)
Lesson planning tips:

  • Remember the attention span and cognitive ability of your youngest listeners.
  • As with the previous event, it should be led by a theologically trained teacher such as the pastor or a commissioned staff member.
  • Potential source texts include:
    • 1 Corinthians 11:23-29
    • John 6:35, 53-58
    • Luke 22:14-20
  • Luther's Small Catechism is a great source to guide your lesson plan.

Small group discussion:

  • Separate by demographics such as
    • Family
    • Age
    • Gender
    • Random assignment
  • Assign a mature, trained leader to each small group. You may wish to have a training event ahead of time for all of the small group leaders to ensure they are prepared to answer any questions their group may have.
  • Provide each group with a list of discussion questions based on the lesson. These may include:
    • What has to be used for Communion?
    • Who can give Communion?
    • Who should take Communion?
    • Is Communion a symbol? Why or why not?

Keep in mind:
  • If you choose to do the bread-making event, remember that yeast-based recipes will take much longer than yeast-free recipes.
  • Allergies and physical or behavioral sensitivities should be thought of when preparing. (For example, how will you prepare for attendees with gluten intolerance or recovering alcoholics?)
Sample schedule 1:
2:00 Welcome. Detail schedule, process, and any rules or announcements. Pray.
2:10 Tour the sacristy
2:30 Bread-making
3:00 Lesson (while bread is cooking)
3:15 Small group discussion (while bread is cooking)
3:45 Enjoy fresh bread and fellowship
4:00 Close

Sample schedule 2:
2:00 Welcome. Detail schedule, process, and any rules or announcements. Pray.
2:10 Bread and wine trivia
2:30 Grape toss
2:45 Lesson
3:00 Small group discussion
3:15 Tour the sacristy
3:30 Refreshments

As always, please leave feedback and suggestions if you use any of these events!
Click here to find part one, "Just Water? Means of Grace Event"

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