FCF is Going Gluten Free!
On July 13, 2017, the elders approved to switch our communion bread to gluten free. This was in response to the growing number of people in our congregation could not partake because of gluten intolerance. Since only one body was broken for us (Matthew 26:26), we believe that it is appropriate to offer just one kind of bread at communion—so the entire church is going gluten free! This switch is a team effort since we prepare our own communion bread. We are thankful for all those who are participating in this change, and we are excited to include as many as possible in our communion.
This change reflects some important things:
- It reflects the value of communion. We believe that communion is a central act of worship. In it we remember our Lord (Luke 22:19), and we also proclaim his death (1 Corinthians 11:26). Communion is intended to draw our fellowship together in unity, and so it encourages a purifying influence (1 Corinthians 11:28). Communion is so central to the life of the church that traditionally, when someone was placed under church discipline, he or she was ‘ex-communicant’ that is, excluded from the Lord’s Supper. Well, here at FCF, we were dismayed that some could be excluded because of gluten intolerance. The change to gluten free reflects a high value on seeing communion provide its proper function for our entire church body.
- It reflects that we are an independent church. Our constitution reads: “The government of this church is vested in its Elders by the voting members under the headship of the Lord Jesus Christ. . . This Church is subject to no other ecclesiastical body. . .” (pg. 4). This means that we believe that our church answers directly to Jesus Christ, not to another church or counsel. This enabled our elders to make our own decision regarding communion, rather than waiting on a decision to be handed down to us. This is not the case for everyone. Recently, the Vatican reaffirmed that all communion bread must contain at least some gluten. This was a reminder of prior instruction: “Hosts that are completely gluten-free are invalid matter for the celebration of the Eucharist. Low-gluten hosts (partially gluten-free) are valid matter, provided they contain a sufficient amount of gluten to obtain the confection of bread. . .” (http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/07/08/letter_to_bishops_on_the_bread_and_wine_for_the_eucharist/1323886). We at FCF rejoice at the freedom we have in the Gospel! We furthermore take our church life earnestly as an independent church, shouldering its stewardship under our Lord.
- It reflects that we value our church community. “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). Since this verse was written to a local church, the ‘one another’s’ were not vague notions, but actual faces and names. These were people that one knew at church. In fact, they’d be people you’d ‘break bread’ with, that is, have communion with. Moving to gluten free is something where we saw we could make a difference and so we felt we should make a difference. We hope that moving to gluten free will disciple our church to grow in sensitivity toward the needs of others. We’d like to fulfill the law of Christ as best we can.
The elders at FCF pray that God will be glorified in our midst. Refining our communion is one step more in that direction.
All purpose gluten free flour
Contributed by Christian Young