It’s Glasgow, Scotland. May 1809.
A young man walks into the church. He holds in his hand a “token,” a little piece of metal given to him by the church elder. The boy’s name is Alexander. When Alexander produces that token at the communion table as evidence of his clergy-approved “worthiness,” he will receive the bread and wine of communion.
Friends, can you imagine? Can you imagine the requirement of said token to come to the table?
On that particular day in 1809 Alexander Campbell did not eat the bread or drink from the cup. His growing sense that no human should bar another from the table of Christ overtook him. Rather than participate anymore in a system with which he could not agree, he laid down the token and walked away from the table. He became a proponent of communion open to all.
I’m taking an online course with Lexington Theological Seminary to study Disciples history and polity, and I’m keen on Alexander Campbell’s insistence that all are welcome at the table. The centrality of the Lord’s Supper and the hospitality of our particular church–those things drew me in to this denomination, this “movement for wholeness.”
It is one thing to gather on Sunday mornings with our local congregations; it is another thing to gather with the masses from so many congregations. And so I’m eager to attend my first General Assembly this summer. I’m looking forward to
bragging about sharing the good work First Christian Greensboro is doing. I’m looking forward to learning what our sister churches are doing.
Throughout the week, I will attend workshops and worship services and business meetings; I will even participate in service projects. I’m making the trip with Shannon Huth and Baylee Smith. Also heading to the assembly are Som Rahlan and Lee, Harper, and Jonathan Moses. We will be good stewards of any resources you offer to help make this experience a reality. If you would like to help us participate in this summer’s General Assembly, send donations to the church marked “General Assembly.” Together, we will continue to make room for everyone at the table.
Read a reflection from Shannon Huth here and watch for updates as the assembly nears.