Communion Group
Communion Group

Step-up to the Lord's Supper @ Bethlehem

'The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”  For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.' 1 Corinthians 11:23b-26

 

For children aged around 10 years Bethlehem Lutheran Church offers a special time of instruction where we learn about how the Lord's Supper brings forgiveness of sins, life and salvation. After this students may be admitted to the Lord's table in a simple rite held within one of our Sunday church services with the Lord's Supper.  Parents/carers attend this learning which occurs over 6 one hour sessions at a mutually agreeable time.  The course uses a range of age appropriate materials and contains opportunities for the students to learn experientially.  In terms of content, we focus on why Jesus gave us this special meal, it's historical foundations, why we practice it today, and practical things such as how to prepare ourselves and how to receive the Lord's Supper.

 

For more information please call 9276 7668 or email matt.bishop@lca.org.au

 

Confirmation @ Bethlehem

'Christ is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ' (Colossians 1:28)

 

At Bethlehem Lutheran Church Morley we take the above Scripture seriously.  Therefore, amongst other ways of supporting all our members and friends in life long development of faith in Christ, we offer a period of 'confirmation' instruction to youth aged from 12-14. This is a special time where we dig deeper in the Scriptures to better appreciate the promises of God and receive them in faith.  The course usually runs over a year during term time.  Parents and carers attend many of the sessions consistent with the principle that the primary place of learning the faith is in the home (see Deuteronomy 6:4-9).  At the end of the course students are invited to 'confirm' their faith.  This may also coincide with students being admitted to the Lord's table if they have not yet undertaken the 'step-up to the Lord's Supper' course.

 

Luther's Small Catechism directs the contours of the confirmation course owing to the way it summarises the Christian faith in a deep yet precise and age appropriate way.  It provides us with a necessary faith foundation and appreciation of how God lovingly brings us his grace and salvation through its focus on, among other things, the Ten Commandments, the Apostle's Creed, the Lord's Prayer, Holy Baptism and the Lord's Supper.  Within each aspect of the course we look at topics of contemporary relevance.  Special modules are included on spirituality, worship, vocation, human suffering and world religions.  We make use of different forms of delivery, including seminars and multi-media, and engage with students through a range of different activities to cater to different learning styles.

 

For more information please call 9276 7668 or email matt.bishop@lca.org.au

Current Program Schedule ending June 18th

 

How is Step-up different to Confirmation?

For many Australian Lutheran Christians, learning the faith in their childhood and teenage years was capped off by attending a confirmation course that also coincided with being admitted to the Lord's Supper.  As such, many thought it was all one and the same.

 

But for some time in practice, and in the context of several special studies, the most recent in 2012, the Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA) has been admitting pre-confirmed members to the Lord’s Supper after an appropriate course of instruction.  The LCA continues to remind pastors, parents and students that:

 

‘... any move to earlier communion will be a blessing for children only to the extent that it occurs in the context of a faithful family and is accompanied by teaching appropriate to their age’ (LCA CTICR 2012, page 10, ‘Infant Communion: a reappraisal’, http://www.lca.org.au/doctrine-and-theology-2.html ).

 

Confirmation is still important – a time of deepening and widening of the contours of the Christian Faith and appreciation of Christ as personal saviour (see elsewhere this website).  In fact, Christian learning never finishes.  Each day we need to remember our baptism by repenting and receiving God’s promise of forgiveness – a process that requires we continue to grow in faith and understanding as our life, maturity and situations change.  Yet for children approaching confirmation teaching and future life in the church, with earlier admittance to the Lord’s Supper:

 

... [i]t may plausibly be argued that infants who communed from the outset would be more likely to grow into (a) the conscious faith and repentance that are required of all communicants; (b) the sense of belonging as integral members of the church; and (c) full participation in the sacramental life of the church with the desire for lifelong education. In light of the growing appreciation of affective learning for education, it may also be wise pedagogically for catechetical instruction to be based on the experience of catechumens (LCA CTICR, 2012, page 9 ‘Infant Communion: a reappraisal’, http://www.lca.org.au/doctrine-and-theology-2.html )