Arctic Church Shares Zoom Communion
The newly founded Arctic Seventh-day Adventist Church (formerly the Arctic Adventist Company) in Utqiagvik, Alaska, had a communion evening to remember. This church has gone through a struggle that many other Adventist churches across the country have faced: not being able to meet in their regular place of worship, much less share communion.
The pandemic is just one of the many challenges the church has faced over the last several years. With the short Arctic summer and nonobliging weather, the group has barely had any chance to meet together. But the church decided, despite these newest challenges, to put a new spin on an old tradition.
In preparation for the agape dinner and communion service, each church family received a basket with prepackaged food and drink for their dinner, along with a program and candles. Additionally, they were given foot-washing supplies. Using Zoom online videoconferencing, the prepared group shared in a short service on Dec. 30 at 7 p.m. in which each family had a part.
The week before the service, everyone received an email or text with a Bible story and a painting depicting that story. Each family had the adventure of reenacting the picture for the agape service. They also had a short time to share a thought or an object lesson from the story.
The church youth shared a welcome to the challenge, a piece of special music and a Scripture reading. The agape service concluded with foot washing done in each home privately, the sharing of bread and grape juice, and a closing prayer — all experienced together over Zoom.
There was much positive feedback at the end of the evening. There was a general sense of well-being and togetherness as the group shared in this special evening. It was a good reminder that, even amid challenges like the COVID-19 limitations, there are ways to make meaningful memories as a church family.