Pastor Placed On Administrative Leave After Serving Communion
Rev. Leonard Blush of First Holiness Church in Siler City, NC has been placed on administrative leave after serving the Lord's Supper during the 11:00 Sunday service. Blush has only been at the church for about 6 months, and during conversations with several members learned that many of them had never partaken of the Lord’s Supper.
“As one of the oldest practices of the Church, I thought it would be nice to incorporate it into the worship experience. Sometimes connecting to our spiritual past helps us today,” reflected Blush. “Tying into Church tradition is a good way to remind people of our core values and mission.” The pastor is correct, but you need to make sure you are not using one tradition to trample another.
“We just assumed he knew. I feel bad for him,” says Janice Hargrove, of the Church Facilities Committee. “He is new, so I suppose some of the blame falls on those of us who grew up here.”
Sister Janice is referring to a church policy that does not allow food or drink in the sanctuary. It has been enforced for at least 47 years, the last time they installed new carpet. Obviously bread and grape juice are food and drink. Hargrove continues, “We were appalled when Pastor Leo removed the lids and we saw it. Some of us looked at each other and wondered what he was putting on the 'flower and offering table.'”
For his part, Blush is trying to salvage his early work, sharing in a church-wide email, “I think it is a sign that we just need better communication. I wasn’t trying to trump church policy. I just didn’t know it.”
Hargrove says the church board is re-evaluating the policy, stating, “We know the pastor’s heart was in the right place, but the fact is, when Jesus had that first communion, he likely didn’t have nice carpet on the floor. But yes, we need to communicate better. We are looking at posting at the sanctuary door a nice sign that says, ‘ABSOLUTELY NO FOOD OR DRINKS IN SANCTUARY!!!’ We always knew that if a visitor showed up we would just let them know during the meet and greet part of the service. We just assumed pastors learned this in seminary.”