Are you encircled by an uplifting, nurturing, cloud of saints?

On All Saints Sunday we  wrote on a tablecloth the names of saints in our livesThis weekend during worship at FUMC, we celebrated All Saints Day.

As always happens during this day of remembrance, we think about the “saints” – those who have contributed to the spiritual journeys of people whose lives they have touched.

On All Saints Day we recognize those from our church who have died over the last year; a bell tolls with the name of each saint that is read.

But people don’t have to be dead to be called a saint! Anyone who personifies God’s extravagant love, or serves others tirelessly, or who nurtures and inspires us, is a saint!

They represent the face of God in our lives.

So to remember all of these saints in our lives, we wrote their names on a tablecloth. Since it was a Communion Sunday, we were invited to make note of our saints as we came up to share bread and juice in community.

I like how after Communion had been served, the pastors took the tablecloth and laid it over the Communion elements. It sort of looked like a cloud.

The tablecloth covers the Communion elements

We call our saints “a cloud of witnesses.” Isn’t that a wonderful metaphor? Can you picture yourself protected and supported by a puffy cloud?

I hope we see more of this tablecloth in the future.

The tablecloth is set up for the 2nd service
The tablecloth is ready for the 2nd service on Sunday. A lot of saints are noted!

a blue line

Photo credits: Photos are from my archives.

A great big party, all around the table!

This Sunday is World Communion Sunday.
You might ask: What does that mean for my family?

Answer: It gives you an excuse to talk about what will take place at worship…

Christians from all around the globe…

Approaching the table…
Speaking different languages…
Wearing different styles of clothing…
to eat bread and drink from the cup…
To remember Jesus.

It’s a world-wide celebration!

But how do you talk about Communion?

A way to start is to relate Communion to things that your child already understands: compare Communion to a recent special family banquet. Try this:

At your family feast… At Communion…
Everyone was gathered together. Communion is also like a family meal. Christians participating in Communion, from all around the world, are all members of Christ’s family
We told “remember when” stories. Jesus told his followers at their last meal together to “Do this to remember me.” Communion is a way to remember how Jesus died for us. In his death our sins (anything that separates us from God) are forgiven!
Because everyone was there, we felt thankful. Communion fills us with thanksgiving, Jesus’ death – and his resurrection – offer us to chance to be God’s friends forever!
Yum, yum. We filled up on good grub. By participating in Communion we are nourished in a different way – we can feel empowered to do God’s work in the world.

Your family might also be interested in a special Communion class this Sunday. It is geared toward kids K-6th and their parents/guardians, and is designed to prepare kids to participate in the sacrament of Communion. After the “Time with Children,” families may go to the Wesley Lounge to learn about Communion and the basics of how we do it. (And to practice!) After the class, families will return to the sanctuary in time for Communion with the rest of the congregation.

If you are in the area please join us at 9:30 this Sunday at First United Methodist Church in Ann Arbor, MI.

Photo credits:
Globe-gazing by eren {sea+prairie), who licensed this photo on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.

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