ChuckWarnock.com

Confessions of a Small Church Pastor

Running Out of Communion Cups is Not All Bad


Today we ran out of communion cups.  I don’t mean we didn’t have any in the cupboard. Rather, we ran out while serving communion to a larger-than-expected Fourth of July congregation.  And it was all my fault.

You see, almost everybody I had talked to the week before told me something like –

“Sorry we won’t see you Sunday because we’ll be at the __________________ with our family.”

You may fill in the appropriate destination with words like beach, cabin, lake, mountains, or in-laws.  So, naturally I expected a rather slim crowd for Sunday worship.  When the ladies who prepare communion asked me how many to prepare for, I said something like:

“No more than 80 tops, and we’ll be lucky to have 50.”

This is where the saying, “O ye of little faith” is appropriate.  As it turned out, we had 102 in worship and actually ran out of the little plastic cups we serve communion grape juice in.  We ran out of them while serving the 102 people waiting reverently for their cup.  I am glad to say that most of the congregation was served due to two factors:

  1. The ladies ignored my seriously pessimistic estimate, and actually had the four trays filled with about 23 or so each, for a total of about 92+ cups.
  2. The deacons went without.  I serve them last anyway, so they just missed the cup of communion on this Sunday.  Plus, I swiped my wife’s cup so I could lead the litany for the cup.

Our exceptional worship number was the result of the attendance of 50 youth from a local summer camp program. Their energy and enthusiasm more than made up for my shortsightedness.  On this Fourth I had a first — my first time to run out of communion cups during communion, but it won’t happen again.  Lesson learned: plan big!

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Categories: Community, Congregation, Worship

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3 replies

  1. That’s a classic! Most churches ARE down on July 4th weekend. It’s great the way you worked it out. We all need to have problems like this!

  2. So glad there was a big turn out. That is so funny.

  3. I have a similar “test of faith” every week when I try to decide how many bulletins to print out. Saving paper has a prophetic edge for us, as the county is removing several of our legacy tres due to expansion of the adjacent airport. Regardless, I also say “plan big”…you never know who’ll come!

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