If anything good has come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the many opportunities to try new things. Many of you have had the chance to try the disposable juice wafer packets, which I am not particularly fond of due to the rather disruptive process of opening them.
Fortunately, when there is a need, innovation takes place, even when it comes to things like serving communion. A new type of disposable cup is now available, which has the bread on the bottom, rather than on the top. The packet is much simpler to open and use. I have purchased a box of 200 of these to have on hand for use, when necessary, over the coming months.
As for the more traditional forms of taking communion, intinction is no longer considered sanitary (think fingertips in the juice and wine), and filling trays of cups with wine is also impractical and time consuming for volunteers. Trays of open cups are also exposed to the servers and all of the other communicants receiving. This is where the pouring chalice comes in. With this type of cup, each person who comes forward can have their cup filled before they receive. This process works very efficiently with a little practice on the part of the person pouring.
Salem has purchased three pouring chalices and the matching plates to go with them from Tokheim Pottery. Two are for wine, and one is for grape juice.
The Salem worship committee will have a pouring practice session next week so that we can begin to train volunteers. I anticipate that I will be doing the pouring most Sundays, but others may do so as well. My hope is to re-introduce serving communion in the more traditional manner using this method in the coming weeks. Those who for sanitary reasons prefer to use the new disposable packets will continue to have that option.