A plan for Faith Milestones lets families in on specific faith formation practices for their children. Though every mainline church offers the sacrament of Holy Communion, each church practices the sacrament specific to their own house traditions: intinction, kneeling, prayers before AND after, altar rail, in the seat, in the aisle, stations, pita bread, wafers, cups, chalice, etc. With Kindergartners attending the sanctuary during Holy Communion, we want our little people and their families to know the logistics and the why we do what we do as the local church and as a denomination.
Bread and Juice Class invitations printed from vistaprint.com are sent to any K5 and first grader who has passed our doors. A Facebook event is set up so we can share it on social media which reads:
Kindergartners and first graders are invited to a Bread & Juice Class to learn about Holy Communion on Wednesday 11/7 5:45-6:30pm in the Children’s Welcome Center. Parents are invited to stay as they are able. For more information and to RSVP, please contact DeDe Reilly at email@example.com or call 404-493-1683.
Welch’s grape juice
Come, Taste the Bread: A Storybook About the Lord’s Supper by Daphna Flegal
We gather around tables while the students hold the Fellowship cups and I introduce the items on the table. The Fellowship cups give the students something to hold while we teach and read the account of Jesus sharing with his friends from the Bible. We constantly share “Jesus said, ‘Eat this and remember me.;” or “Jesus said, ‘Drink this and remember me.'”
We eat the different breads. We drink different juices. We tell the story of Mr. Welch coming up with non-alcoholic juice for Holy Communion.
Moving to the craft table, the children cut out circles (we primarily use wafers in our church) and glue them to a piece of card stock above an already cut-out chalice. Then add the Jesus sticker where ever the student wishes because it’s all about remembering Jesus. (Students are better focused when they can move around a room).
We then head back to open the Fellowship cups for a different ‘taste’ while I share a bit about the liturgy of getting our hearts ready to receive communion.
The 45-minute class ends with a story-time of Come, Taste the Bread: A Storybook About the Lord’s Supper and let the students fill in the blanks as a review of what we just shared. We then give out certificates and the students are dismissed. (Upon arrival, parents are invited to write their child’s name on the certificate which is one more way parents participate in the milestone AND the spelling will always be correct).
As United Methodists I share why many UM churches have the tradition of Holy Communion once a month and the UM table is open to everyone who wants to know about Jesus. We are intentional to teach that we ‘receive’ Holy Communion and never ‘take it.’ We also teach the littles how to hold their hands (in the shape of a cross), how to dip the wafer into the juice, and how to get it to their mouths without dropping juice and even what to say in response.
Several new families also attended with older students (I personally invited any new 3rd-5th graders to come as ‘helpers’) so they could also learn.
“And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19