#UCCSynod: A Sip of Privilege

#UCCSynod: A Sip of Privilege

One in series of posts by Southern New England Conference delegates to the 34th General Synod of the United Church of Christ.

 I heard something shocking as I was heading out of our lovely Communion service this afternoon, which included a fantastic sermon by United Church of Canada moderator, Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne. Coming in, we received those little pre-packaged cups we used during Covid-19. Not a big fan: it takes a bit away from the splendor of such a service to peel back the little foil cover to have that little sip. But it is safer and more just for people with allergies and other concerns, so it is worth it.
But what I heard next really surprised me. Apparently, the ushers had to go through the trash to see exactly how many little communion kits were consumed, because they were being charged by the Indianapolis Convention Center as “outside food.”
What unabashed greed, I thought! Is serving communion a threat to the food sold on site? Do they really need to nickel and dime people of faith for this one small but essential activity? Has Mammon been embraced so fully by the world that there is no room for God?
But something else went through my brain. It is a privilege to have the food we eat in worship, however small, be seen as special. It is a privilege that we as Christians get special treatment from society, because so many other faiths and groups of people do not. When they ask for special consideration, they hear, “Why would you worry about that?” and “Can’t you just be like everyone else? What makes you so special?”
It is easy to ignore privilege until you lose it. In many places in this country, Christians are losing the privilege they once had. And that stings. But there might be some wisdom to come through that pain. If we can feel anger over losing the privilege of not having to pay for a communion kit, think about the people who do not have that kind of privilege about life and death things. Maybe a little suffering on our part will open our eyes to the great suffering of others that it has been so easy to ignore. The next time you roll your eyes at someone who you think wants undue special treatment just to be treated with the dignity of every child of God, remember that communion kit.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Gregory N. Baker



gregory n. baker.png
Gregory N. Baker

Rev. Gregory Baker is the pastor of the United Chruch of Assonet, MA.

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