Synod 2006: Church Moves to Allow Children at Communion

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Synod 2006 said that baptized children are part of God’s family and should be invited to partake in the Lord’s Supper with the rest of the congregation. Opening communion to all baptized members is not a denial of the need for a profession of faith, synod said, but is “a healthier understanding that such faith is expressed in many ways and at many levels.”

Synod noted this is consistent with the CRC’s covenant theology and instructed the denomination’s Board of Trustees to appoint a task force to study the best way to include children in this sacrament.

Rev. Robert Arbogast, Classis Lake Erie, said that children grow in their understanding of communion within the church. “Our daughter began receiving communion at age 4 in an Episcopal church,” he said. “She didn’t know what it was about. She came to know what it was about.”

Rev. Stanley Groothof, Classis British Columbia North-West, cited his own experience as a new father as a reason for supporting children joining the Lord’s Supper. “Young children learn through touch and taste. If I give my 10-month-old a toy, where does it go? Into her mouth,” he said. “The part of the service that is especially tuned to touch and taste is the part children are excluded from.”

Because the decision requires changes to the Church Order of the CRC, it will take at least two years, and the concurrence of two more synods, to implement.

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