Religion in the News

Communion Ceremonies Are Being Modernized in Milwaukee

by Elroy Willis

MILWAUKEE (EAP) -- Several churches in the Milwaukee area have recently been under attack by Christian fundamentalists after the churches started offering communion ceremonies where people have the choice of drinking beer instead of wine, and eating pizza or pieces of bread covered with cream cheese instead of dry communion wafers.

"We've been trying to draw in more beer drinkers to our church lately, and we don't see why the fundamentalists are getting so upset and attacking us," said William Bappe, pastor of Glenville Church of God, in east Milwaukee.

"The main thing to consider is saving people and bringing them to Jesus, and if they like communion beer instead of communion wine, and like communion pizza and real bread instead of some paper thin communion wafers, then we think we're doing a good thing by providing what the people want," Bappe said.

"Monday Night Football is a joyous time for us," said Neil Parson, pastor of Lakeside Church in northern Milwaukee. "We put up a big screen TV in our church and have kegs of beer and loaves of bread and Dominos pizza delivered, all blessed by God of course." "Mondays used to be a pretty slow night for our church, but things changed after we started combining communion with Monday Night Football. It was a stroke of genius to get the men who avoided church on Sundays to come to church on Monday nights.

"We think Jesus would've liked Monday Night Football," he said. "He would've definitely been a quarterback if he played football."

Christian fundamentalists from around the area claim that such activities are an abomination in God's eyes, and want to put a stop to it. They claim serving alcoholic beverages in church is a sin and that watching sports instead of listening to a sermon and singing songs to praise God is unforgivable.

"We're doing whatever we can to attract more followers and lead people to God, and if others don't like it, that's their problem," Parson said.

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