Reformation and open Communion
As a pastor in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, I am a regular recipient and reader of Ministry magazine. The published articles are timely, enlightening, and refreshing.
I read the article titled “Reformation Principles for an End-Time Ministry” by Dr. Ganoune Diop in your October 2017 issue. I noticed that on page 7 the article says, “For Catholics, the prerequisites for Communion are baptism and confirmation. Protestants, on the other hand, practice open Communion and come to the Lord’s table as sinners, not saints.”
I come from an Anglican (Protestant) family. And in the Anglican (Protestant) Church, both baptism and confirmation are prerequisites for Communion. We were required to have both before we were allowed to receive Communion. Therefore, all Protestants do not necessarily practice open Communion.
Nevertheless, while I have always reminded the worshipers of the warning of Jesus in 1Corinthians 11:27–29, I fully agree with the principles of open and inclusive Communion expounded both in Scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy. During my last 37 years of both part-time and full-time ministry in several parts of the world, it has been my habit almost always to remind the congregation that the Seventh-day Adventist Church believes in and practices open, inclusive Communion.
Whoever believes in Jesus and wishes to avail themselves of His salvation is invited to participate. In some of our Communion services, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and other
non-Adventists with sincere desires have participated and testified that they have been blessed and inspired to learn more about Jesus. God bless.
—Walter John, senior pastor, Seventh-day Adventist church in Pohnpei
Christian education—a collaboration
I could not be in stronger agreement that we must do a better job of preparing our children for heaven (June 2017 issue). However, I wish to share some observations after reading this issue.
All of the writers were connected with larger churches or large church educational institutions. The majority of our churches no longer have schools. I can’t help but observe a void in our vision for Adventist Christian education—the small churches that are a majority. Let me suggest some answers to our church’s educational challenges.
We must expand our vision to include educating every Adventist child in every situation to prepare them to be citizens of God’s kingdom. Ella Simmons mentioned the need for partnership, and that partnership was directed to pastors and schools. Clearly, we need to expand our vision to include all efforts to add support for homeschoolers, self-supporting schools, and the provision of online resources that are freely available to every parent who desires to educate their children for God’s kingdom.
—Bud Schermerhorn, pastor, Graysville, Tennessee, United States
I am writing to express our delight in the June 2017 issue of Ministry magazine. One of our office’s great goals this year is to enhance the collaborative ministries of our teachers and schools with our Australian pastors.
Our objective is to promote conversations on ministry between pastors and school leaders so that each can assist the other in making the most of opportunities to minister to school students and their families. In Australian Adventist schools, this is more important than ever, given the relatively high levels of non-Adventist family engagement with our program.
Your magazine hit the spot, and we are keen to ensure that every school leader receives a hard copy of the June 2017 issue, “Adventist Education.”
—Lyndon Chapman, associate national director, Adventist Schools Australia, Victoria, Australia