Monday, April 16, 2012

Calvin on communion, change management, fragmentation, pastoring, and so much more ...

"We are very pleased that the Lord´s Supper is being celebrated every month, provided that this more frequent observance does not produce carelessness. When a considerable part of the congregation stays away from Communion, the church somehow becomes fragmented. Nonetheless, we think it is better for a congregation [to take Communion] every month than only four times a years, as usually happens here.
When I first came here, the Lord´s Supper was observed only three times a year, and seven whole months intervened between the observance at Pentecost and at the Birthday of Christ. A monthly observance pleased me, but I could not persuade the people, and it seemed better to bear with their weakness than to continue arguing stubbornly. I took care to have it recorded in the public records, however, that our way was wrong, so that correcting it might be easier for future generations."

- John Calvin 
in a letter from Geneva on August 12, 1561 [less than 3 yrs before his death]

Calvin´s Ecclesiastical Advice, trans. Mary Beaty and Benjamin W. Farley (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1991), p. 96. 

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