Appreciating Communion

Karen Scribano   -  

During this Lenten season, we refrain from taking communion during our Wednesday night Lenten services.  For worship volunteer Karla Croll, that is a component of worship that she really misses when it is not offered.  

“Communion is a very big deal, and it is my favorite way of serving at St. Mark,” she reflects.

Karla came to St. Mark just over ten years ago, and visited for a year before she officially joined.  She remembers Pastor Mike coming around with a volunteer sign-up sheet, and she initially signed up to be a coffee host.  Eventually she got “the nerve” to become a communion assistant.  “I wanted to do that, but it took nerve for me because I am actually a very shy person.” She also now serves as a greeter and as part of the funeral meal team.

“Communion is such a very special thing.  It is a time to feel a closeness with God.  For me, as a server, I love feeling that I touch the life of each person who comes through with the bread and the wine.  I know they are receiving Christ as they receive the elements.”

Karla remembers how much she missed worship and especially communing with others during the Covid shutdown.  “God and I had talks!  Communion is such an important part of church to me that I would not skip it just because I was watching online.  I did it at home with my own bit of bread and wine, and I did it every week.”

As a server, she tries to look each person in the eye and help them feel a connection with God.  “It is so special, and I never want anyone to feel rushed. When I serve the bread, I also make sure to give a blessing to the children.  I’m much more comfortable with this than when I first started – especially since some kids are taller than me!”  Awkward moments occasionally happen, such as someone dropping their wafer on the floor, or the time a visitor tried to take the entire intinction chalice to drink from instead of dipping their wafer into it (she was able to hold them off!).  Most of the time, though, she is able to help people share a special moment with God without distractions.

“Serving is a very humbling and calming thing to do – just to bring people into a closeness with God.  I want to give them a moment to stop and think about what it means.  And when I am in the receiving line for communion, I try to leave space for the person ahead of me so they don’t feel rushed.  Sometimes I even deliberately walk past the baptismal font and touch it.  I try to calm my mind and focus on what is happening, and then I say a little ‘Amen’ after receiving each of the elements.  It’s so special to me.”