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Reflection on the Phrase – “Faithful with a Few”
In fall 2020, we questioned whether we should even try to run the SOAR SASK program. We discussed this because there were so many unknowns and restrictions on gathering. After much prayer and talk with stakeholders in the program, we felt a decisive confirmation that we should go ahead. We would do what we COULD and commit the things we COULDN’T do to God. This was reminiscent of the parable of the talents recorded in Matthew 25. The master commends even the servant that was faithful with a little!
With a hybrid program of teams meeting in person as teams but being limited to online interaction to other teams, SOAR took place this year over half the amount of days that it usually does. Because team sizes were small, we had fewer participants than we have had for many years. However, we had an equal amount of groups with a total of 9 (same amount of groups as SOAR 2020!).
Celebrating the Wins
- A group from Panama and Colombia joined for many parts of the online interactions and teachings.
- An area of the program we have desired to see grow is in multi-generational teams. Even in this different format, three of the teams who participated were multi-generational.
- Five of the teams joining this year had never before participated in the program and for that we give thanks to God!
Growing and Going Beyond SOAR
SOAR SASK exists to create an environment where people can Grow in their relationship with Jesus, to Know God’s heart for the world, and to Go and join God in mission by the power of His Spirit! Like any other year the majority of this work of Growing Knowing and Going actually happens beyond the experiences of the program itself as these are simply characteristics of a disciple of Jesus. We are so happy to have put in the effort to run SOAR SASK in this new format and look forward to hearing stories of transformation from those who participated this year. We as a leadership team (consisting of more that 25 people!) are encouraged that the master’s words in Matthew 25 are God’s words not only over our leadership this year but over everyone who came and participated in SOAR SASK, and indeed, over any faithful disciple of Jesus.
“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” Matthew 25:23 NIV
Ryan T Epp
SOAR SASK Coordinator
The Body of Christ for the Body of Christ
Communion in a digital world?
“Do this in remembrance of me.” ~1 Corinthians 11:24
When I served as a pastoral intern, one of my favourite ministries was serving the bread and the cup to my brothers and sisters during the Lord’s Supper. As theologians, we think about how best to describe the Lord’s Supper—as sacrament or ordinance, as sign or symbol. And these questions are met with the beauty of saying “the body of Christ broken for you, the blood of Christ poured out for you” to your brother or sister.
COVID-19 has raised many questions regarding the manner in which we practice the Lord’s Supper. Should we partake in our homes with our families or alone? Does it matter if the communion service is pre-recorded or live streamed? Does it need to be grape juice (as is typical in the SKMB world) and bread? What if I don’t have those on hand at home?
A key conviction we need to hold regarding the Lord’s Supper is the practice of “togetherness” in the sacrament. Reflecting on 1 Corinthians 10:17, Menno Simons writes: “For as one loaf being composed of many grains is but one bread; so we also being composed of many members are but one body in Christ.” Against the typically Western understanding of communion as “me and Jesus time,” both early Anabaptists and the biblical text ask us to consider the body of Christ as we partake in the body and blood of Christ.
This, of course, leads us back to our COVID questions. Can we partake in communion while separated, given this focus on the body of Christ, the church together? I think different Christians will have varying levels of comfort with this question. Some may feel comfortable participating alone when watching a pre-recorded service, others may want to wait to partake with a small group over a Zoom call. My concern would be that whichever option we choose, we do not let communion devolve into “me and Jesus” time, but always recognize that we are part of something much grander—the body of Christ locally and indeed globally.
According to Conrad Grebel, communion is “to show us that we are truly one bread and one body, and that we are and wish to be true [sisters and brothers] with one another.” Whatever season we are in because of COVID, may this be both our hope and our reality.
Stephanie Christianson, Instructor
Horizon College & Seminary