The traditional Lutheran understanding of communion is seems foreign to our American sensibilities. Whatever else one believes about Holy Communion, it is commonly regarded first and foremost as an act of hospitality. According to this view, the practice of closed communion appears unfriendly, rude, and perhaps even judgmental.
We have a different understanding – one that requires us to deny communion to those we do not know. And we are well aware that visitors to our congregation can find this unwelcoming.
We do not wish anyone ever to feel unwelcome or disregarded. At the same time, the difficulty is born of doctrinal division. The Scriptures teach us to see our communing together as an expression of unity.
We are glad to have visitors, and we ask that you speak to Pastor Yaeger before the service to introduce yourself and announce your intention to come to the Lord's Supper. While we are always happy to welcome those of another confession to join us for worship, participation in the mystery of Christ's bodily presence in Holy Communion is for those who confess with us.
We realize that this view of Holy Communion feels wrong to many Christians. We ask, however, that you would respect our wishes and get to know us. Our deepest desire is not to commune alone. We want you to join us. But we want you to join us understanding what it is you are getting into and what it means to be a part of our growing family. True Christian love comes from God and is born out of unity in doctrine, understanding, and purpose.
If these obstacles seem like too much for you and you would like to talk about them, please don’t hesitate to contact Our Savior Lutheran Church, Lynchburg. We welcome the conversation.