New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 25, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas
SA □ Herald-Zeitung □ Friday, July 25,1997Church Life
■ To talk with News Editor Sue England about Church Life, call 625-9144, ext. 221.
ChurchA little bread, a little Wine: So, what’s
Most Americans seem to agree that no matter what church you attend, there are certain practices that are common to all. One practice is ,baptism, even though its form of -administration varies among denominations. Another practice that ail churches do is Communion.
Some refer to it as “Eucharist,” while others may call it “The Lord’s Supper.” Simply defined, Communion is that event in which a person will ingest some bread (possibly in the form of a wafer or cracker) and drink some win ^possibly grape juice) and by so doing, remember the physical death of Jesus Christ. The activity has endured because it was given by Jesus himself to his disciples before his death, and they were instructed to continue it afterward.
While most recognize the Communion service as a common activity in all churches, there is some disagreement about who is allowed to participate. This issue came into focus for me recently when I was talking with a friend. He told me that he had attended a church here in New Braunfels about a year ago and refused to return after the minister made some comments from the pulpit about who could receive Communion.
JudkinsLocal church newsCross Luthsran School accepts studsnts prs-K through sscond-grade
Cross Lutheran is just one of more than 2,000 Lutheran Schools in North America that teach a quarter of a million students.
Lutheran schools were established in America as early as 1640 in the polony of Delaware by Pastor Reorus Torkillus.
The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Texas District has been educating children since the early 1880s. Cross Lutheran School has been involved in Christian education for many years, having been established in 1928.
Lutheran Schools make up the largest Protestant school system in the United States, and are found in nearly every state with several
hundred in other countries.
Fifty-nine percent of Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
congregations are involved in operating one or more schools, an increase of 9 percent in two years.
An average of 37 percent of the children attending Lutheran Schools belong to non-Lutheran churches and 13 percent are unchurched (source: Schools of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod).
lf you would be interested in involving your child in an education atmosphere that revolves around Christian care and concern, call the Cross Lutheran School and Child Care Center office at 629-3969 or visit the Cross Lutheran Church and Child Care Center at 169 S. Hickory in New Braunfels.
The school starts at pre
For my friend, it was a matter of being offended at the suggestion that if one were not a Christian (believer in Jesus) and he or she received the bread and wine, they would go to hell.
My friend found this statement more universally unacceptable than personally applicable.
I know that some churches refuse to give Communion to non-members of their particular congregation. Others have a policy of openness that allows anyone who is a believer to accept the elements of Communion. My question is this: What’s the big deal?
Where in scripture do we find that Communion is a heaven or hell issue? Can it be true that for the person who receives the bread and wine during a Communion service
kindergarten and goes through second grade.
Winona Oberkampf is director.Spaces atm avaHabla in First Presbyterian Kids’ Day Out
A few spaces are still available in the new “Kids’ Day Out” pre-school program that will begin rn September at New Braunfels Presbyterian Church. There are still a few openings for four years who wish to be a part of ibis exciting new ministry to families with young children. The program that will ba held at New Braunfels Presbyterian Church, 373 Howard St danes wit be on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a m. to I p.m. from September through May. Suzy Wilkinson will serve as director of this innovative new program. For more information.
but does not have a life-giving personal relationship with Jesus based on repentance of sin and commitment to Christ as Lord that the flames of hell will not burn hotter?
Maybe I’m missing something here, but it seems to me that the people who have not received Jesus as forgiver and established him as their personal leader is going to hell anyway and taking Communion simply is a matter of eating some bread and drinking some wine. It could be compared to person who decides to get baptized but similarly has not made Jesus die unequivocal leader of his entire life. All that would be happening at the baptism is that he would get wet.
We find in scripture (I Corinthians 11) that Communion and its benefits
call the Kids’ Day Out office at 629-2286.Dr. Kay Tumor speaks al Unitarian serries
The Unitarian Universalists will have Dr. Kay Turner, author, artist and folklorist of Austin, speak at the Faith United Church of Christ, 970 N. 337, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. She will speak on a millennial interpretation of the spirituality of an biternate lifestyle. The public la
and consequences are for BELIEVERS. Judgment tells on a believer who ingests the elements of Communion without giving proper regard to its history and significance. This would be the person who claims to have Jesus as his leader, yet on a daily basis he is living for himself and practicing sin as a lifestyle. For this person to join with others in a service that remembers our fallen condition and proclaims our ongoing need for and commitment to a Savior named Jesus is something that God apparently dislikes. It is hypocritical at best and dishonest at worst The bottom line is this: Let anyone take Communion, but be aware that only those who enjoy a personal relationship with Jesus reap the joyous benefits of His presence both
Ray’s message is entitled, “Elements of a Healthy Family.” Child care is provided for birth through 4 years of age at the church, 2134 Loop 337 North. There will be a continental breakfast beginning at 8:45 a.m.
Come to Oakwood and see what the excitement is all about Call 625-0267 for information.Faithful donate with American pride aft la!Cantar Sunday
Oakwood Baptist Church will be having a “Special Family Service” at the Civic Center at 9:30 a.m. Sunday. Everyone is invited to attend. Pastor
In keeping with the patriotic theme for July, First Protestant Church sponsored a “Proud to be an American” blood drive July 20. The Department of Mission and Service hosted the community drive where the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center saw 35 willing donors, of which 28 were able to donate. Sincere thanks are extended to the
during and following the service.
Others who claim to be Christian and ingest the elements as a magical experience to keep them saved or in good standing with God are fooling themselves and according to scripture, bringing on God’s judgment.
Communion should be the renewal of our Christian vows. It’s an opportunity to remember our fallen condition, to worship our Savior and to renew our daily commitment to Him. Perhaps we should spend our energy more on these issues than who is or isn’t allowed to eat at die Lord’s table. Ultimately, it is God who decides who can come and dine.
(Tim Judkins as an associate minister at First Protestant Church in New Braunfels.)
members and friends of First Protestant Church and the community for their support.
Donors were .greeted by Mitzi Dither, a member of the Department of Mission and Service, and blood drive coordinator Charlene Nolle.
Members of the department provided homemade cookies for the donors. As a bonus, all donors were entered into a drawing for two round-trip airfares courtesy of Southwest Airlines.
The department would like to recognize some “first-time” donors — Mitzi Gibson, Justin Dunlap and Brett Cline. These young people of the community are to be commended for their participation.
The next blood drive will be Oct. 5. Mark it on your calendar to participate in this vital mission of First Protestant Church.Youth-led churches bring young adults back to religion
No dress code, no nonsense draw Generation X to church
By STACY MORFORD
Associated Press Writer
GEORGETOWN, Ky. (AP) -The sign behind the pulpit reads “Passion in Prayer,’’ and the enthusiastic faces filling Trinity Assembly of God’s all-youth worship service are living the words.
There is no dress code. A passion for God and for life is the only protocol, and the growing number of teen-agers who flock here and to a few other Generation X-oricnted churches across the country say that freedom to worship in their own way has turned their lives around.
“In your traditional church service, they sit a long time, they sing a couple of hymns and they don’t get real loud. Here, we don’t hold back,” said Tina McDonald, 17, barely audible above the wail of an electric guitar on a recent Sunday at Trinity.
In the gymnasium-tumed-youth-worship-hall, 70 teen-agers sing, hugging one another and swaying to the rhythm. Their words have been in hymnals for centuries, but the music is closer to Smashing Pumpkins than Handel.
This is nothing like their parents’
worship service in the church a few yards down the hill, and many of the teens say they wouldn’t be here if it was.
Today’s youth are searching for something to believe in, and many are finding it in religion. Trinity youth pastor Michael W hite said
In his ministry training in Indiana, Ohio and Virginia, White, 28, dealt with youngsters aching for acceptance and often finding it in street gangs and cults. They needed something to believe in, something that wasn’t forced on them by the adult world, he said.
White put religion’s morality lessons in teen language and control in their hands, and the teen-agers took it from there In less than two years, his congregation in the tow n of 12,000 went from an average of 15 teens to more than I OO.
Trinity’s Sunday morning and Wednesday night youth services became so popular and so loud earlier this year that a neighbor complained, and the county, in response, required the church to soundproof its youth hall. The teens say it hasn’t changed the way they worship and instead has increased attendance.
“When kids hear there’s a church without adults, where they can pretty much do what they want, they want to sec it,” McDonald said. “They want to be part of it.”
In a Waco church 900 miles from Trinity, Chris Seay sits on a stool before his congregation, casually discussing the weeks’ events, their
They’r* not looking for glorified religion. They want tho nuts and bolts... they want to see some hard and fest fruit; they want to make a difference, and they’re willing to put in tho labor.'
— Rev. D. Edward Williams , pastor of First Baptist Church of Wheaton, Md.
implications and how Christ would have responded.
Most of his congregation at University Baptist is under 30, putting them among the first generation of Americans in which the majority has no church affiliation, Seay said. Yet despite the national trend of young adults shying away from religion, University Baptist has grown from a handful of Baylor University students two years ago to more than 2,500 members.
“The message hasn’t changed,” he said. “But the way it’s delivered, the way our people relate to one another, is very different than churches of the past.”
Like White, Seay avoids lecturing and staid routine. His congregation is more comfortable with a storytelling
approach to ministry and to the music, which “has more of a Counting Crows, Dave Matthews kind of sound,” he said.
Church services like White’s and Seay’s are rare, say youth ministry leaders for the country’s major religions. But they say more churches are opening their ears to what teens and young adults have to say and trusting them to keep the faith.
The Catholic Church started an international youth summit 24 years ago that has been drawing millions of teens for worship and conferences on the issues affecting society and their religious beliefs. Next month, the conference convenes in Paris. When it met in Denver four years ago, 600,000 young adults attended
Older teens in the Mormon Church
and Jehovah’s Witnesses have long been busted to spread their religion’s word as missionaries. And teens in other churches increasingly are turning to outreach as well, using their summer vacation as mission trips to build houses for poor families or to work in inner-city soup kitchens.
“They’re not looking for glorified religion,” said the Rev. D. Edward Williams of First Baptist Church of Wheaton, Md., near Washington, D.C. “They want the nuts and bolts. They’re not closed on the subject of religion, but they want to see some hard and test fruit, they want to make a difference, and they’re willing to put in the labor.”
Williams emphasizes the
importance of youth but cautions against separate services, saying it goes against the very principle churches have survived on for generations.
“A body is better if it’s not divided,” Williams said “We want the family to grow together.”
Family is what the youth at Trinity say they’ve found with one another. It’s what they say keeps them coming back.
“Some people have been real skeptical, but we think ifs awesome,” said Lydia Holder, 18. “Kids need direction and something they can know they can rely on. They’re searching for something. We’ve found it — with God”
Hill Country Christian Church
(Disciples of Christ)
A Mew Christian Church in Formation.
Sunday Worship lf 10:30 A.M.
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State Department criticizes curbs on religious freedom
NEW YORK (AP) — In its first report on the persecution of Christians around the world, the State Department sharply criticizes China for suppressing religious freedom. The New York Times reported Tuesday
The report, which details international resections on religious freedom in 78 countries, also asks Russian President Boris Yeltsin to veto a proposed law curbing the activities of evangelical and other religious groups in his country.
The report was obtained by the Times ahead of its scheduled Tuesday release.
Congress last year mandated a report on U.S. efforts to reduce international restrictions on the^ practice of Christianity, but the State Department broadened its focus to include other persecuted groups such as Tibetans in China and animists in the Sudan.
The Chinese government has regularly violated constitutional guarantees of religious rights, cracking down on unregistered Catholic and Protestant groups, raiding worship groups meeting in private homes, and sometimes detaining, interrogating or beating leaders, the report said.
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