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A study on Zoom offered by the Board of Ordained Ministry Z

The Eastern PA Conference Board of Ordained Ministry offers a new study of Holy Communion led by the Revs. Candy LaBar and Gary Knerr, in two sessions on Zoom:

  • Saturday, April 24, 9:00-11:30 AM
  • Saturday, May 8, 9:00-11:30 AM

John Wesley called the Lord’s Supper the means of grace par excellence.  Do pastors believe the same as Father John?  Do our congregants?  How important is communion to our relationship with Christ & our Christian spirituality in general?

Is Christ really present in the consecrated elements? Or is the Lord’s Supper a meal that merely recalls Jesus’ sacrifice?  Is it truly a gospel feast or a dessert after the “meat & potatoes” of the sermon?

What about the words we say from the front of the hymnal? Do they matter?  Is everyone invited: children, non-baptized individuals, even non-believers?  How often should we commune, really?  And in 2021, how do we celebrate the Eucharist safely during Covid-tide?

By getting to the theological heart of this foretaste of the heavenly banquet, we as church leaders can offer better and more meaningful answers to these questions that often arise in our own minds and from worshipers in the pews.

This This Holy Mystery: A UM Study of Holy Communion, via Zoom, is designed to help all church leaders — and in particular, our licensed local pastors and lay-supply pastors — to wrestle with this theological foundation of Holy Communion.

To participate, individuals should read Gayle Carlton Felton’s This Holy Mystery (available at cokesbury.com), including Wesley’s sermon, On the Duty of Constant Communion (in the workbook). Also, share any questions with the study leaders via email. (Real-world questions — as in: What do I say when a person from my church says… ? — are most welcome!)

The registration deadline is Tuesday April 6.  Class sessions will take place on two Saturdays, April 24 and May 8, 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM via Zoom. (Zoom links will be sent upon registration.) 0.5 CEUs will be offered to those who complete this course.  You must participate in BOTH classes as they will not be recorded.


To register, visit: https://na.eventscloud.com/ereg/newreg.php?eventid=603087&


Rev. Gary Knerr (pastorknerr@grovechurch.org) is the Lead Pastor at Grove UMC near West Chester, PA.  A graduate of Albright College & Princeton Theological Seminary, he is an ordained elder since 1990, and has served six charges in Eastern PA in various settings.  He has a particular interest in sacramental theology.



Rev. Candy LaBar (revclabar@gmail.com) is the Lead Pastor of Wesley UMC in Bethlehem, PA. She was ordained as an elder in the Eastern PA Conference in 2012. She has coordinated Annual Conference worship and currently serves as the chair of the North DCOM. A graduate of Moravian College and Drew Theological School, she nurtures a passion for interfaith dialogue, liturgy writing, and worship design… and on occasion, does Hebrew homework just for the sheer fun of it.



April 24
9:00 am - 11:30 am
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