Recently Read: COB and Wall Street Journal take on online communion

The Rev. Andy Langford, Central United Methodist Church’s senior pastor, at left, talks with the Rev. Daniel Wilson, the church’s online pastor. Kate Lord for The Wall Street Journal

One of the under reported items coming out of the United Methodist Council of Bishops meeting yesterday was their establishment of a moratorium on online communion. This follows a conversation by an unofficial group of bishops, board and agency staff, and other church leaders this past September which had asked the bishop to declare the moratorium to allow more time for study and discernment. Heather Hahn at the United Methodist News Service did the best reporting on this and you can read her articles at:

 Should churches offer Holy Communion online?

Moratorium, study urged on online communion

Last night the Wall Street Journal published an extensive article on the issue, featuring The Revs. Andy Langford and Daniel Wilson of the Central UMC in Concord, NC and their desire to offer online communion as a part of their “online campus”:

The church also planned for virtual users to be able to regularly take Holy Communion when it is being offered during services: Online users can simply grab some grape juice and any bread or crackers they have in the house, and consume them after the pastor, in the sanctuary, blesses the juice and bread as representing the blood and body of Christ.

The practice, common in many evangelical churches, could help make Christianity more accessible, especially to young people who read the Bible on an app, if at all, the century-old church says. “We believe that God is not bound by space and time,” said the Rev. Andy Langford, Central’s senior pastor. “We believe that when we bless the bread and the cup in one place, if there are others who are worshiping with us, God will bless that bread and cup wherever they are.”

Click the link below to check out the full article.

Church’s Online Communion: Sacrament or Sacrilege?

Recently Read

Recently Read

Recently Read posts are stories the editors of The United Methodist Reporter have found interesting from other sites and wanted to share with our readers. The editors do not necessarily endorse the opinions shared in these stories, and referral here should not imply endorsement of that content.

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Dusty Craig of WC Online: Episode 66 » Social Media Church podcastCan the Language of Leadership Be Redeemed? » Ministry » High Noon BlogWil RanneyD Warren Recent comment authors
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[…] #article COB and Wall Street Journal take on online communion (The United Methodist Reporter) […]


[…] apparent a church planned to offer it in a very public way.  The Council of Bishops apparently agreed with the moratorium.  The Wall Street Journal now reports a pastor will go ahead anyways with […]

Wil Ranney

Young Adults spend over 3 hours a day on social media. It's high time we start treating the internet as a "place" a "mission field" instead of an abstract. God is present where one person interacts with another, to say less would limit our conception of God and the reach of Grace. In the very near future online interactions we better in many ways than face-to-face ones (see google glass). I take communion online every week with my worship community, Darkwood Brew ( and find it to be every bit as spirit filled as in person communion. In some ways… Read more »

D Warren
D Warren

I am not sure I understand the need for "online communion" when we have several provisions for having communion offered to those who cannot attend church physically. If it's only a matter of convenience, then I am not sure there is a good theological warrant for it. Would one consider an "online baptism?" Communion is the Church's meal, the celebration of fellowship that was, is, and will be. Offering it online seems to negate the entire concept of fellowship, no matter how clear the video and audio connection may be.

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