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Bread and Wine

Announcements

The announcements follow the Peace.  Although not a formal part of the service, it importantly tells people what is happening in the congregation and offers them opportunities to serve in various ministries and to pray for the needs of the faith community.

Offering

 After the announcements, all are invited to give to God from the great bounty God has given to each of us. Those who are new to the congregation are asked to fill out the guest card and make that their offering.

The ushers then bring forward the congregation’s offering of bread and wine to God for the communion meal. We use unleavened, wheat bread, since Jesus most likely ate unleavened bread at the Last Supper with the disciples, since it was the time of the Jewish Passover.

The bread is unleavened, because according to scripture, there was no time for the bread to rise since the Hebrew people had to leave Egypt quickly to escape slavery (Exodus 12:33-34). Later in Jewish history, leaven came to symbolize sin. Jews removed all leaven from their houses at the Passover to enact ritually their being cleansed from all that is not of God. The unleavened bread also symbolizes that Jesus was without sin.

Bread and wine also signify the gift of God’s creation and the work of human hands. Bread originates in sheaves of grain. The wheat must be separated from the chaff, ground into flour, and baked to make bread. Grapes must be crushed and fermented to produce wine.

A collection of money is taken at this point. Often a hymn is sung or music played while the ushers take the collection. Our offering supports God’s work in the church and community.
During this time, the altar table is prepared for the communion meal.