Holy Communion

    As a member congregation of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod we follow the ancient and biblical practice of Closed Communion as an expression of unity in doctrine.  ( See 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; Romans 16:17; 1 Corinthians 1:10.)  The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod practices Closed Communion believing that when a person partakes of the Sacrament of the Altar he or she is also confessing their unreserved agreement with that church body’s doctrine. Because there are doctrinal differences between our Missouri Synod and other Lutheran Church bodies, as well as other Christian denominations, we cannot expect others to make that kind of commitment, nor do we desire anyone to compromise his or her own convictions and their Church’s teaching. Therefore, our practice of Closed Communion admits only those individuals who are in doctrinal agreement and who hold membership in a sister congregation of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

   The Holy Sacrament of the Altar requires a mature participation, which includes self-examination as stated in 1 Corinthians 11:28. Scripture also warns against “unworthy” reception (impenitence or unbelief) which would bring God’s judgment upon the individual: 1 Corinthians 11:29; 1 Corinthians 11:27. Thus, out of loving concern for all, a commitment to Holy Scripture, and our Lutheran Confessions, we practice Closed Communion.  

    All are welcome to worship with us, however if you have not yet been taught and confirmed in beliefs of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, belong to a church not in fellowship with our church, or belong to a Missouri Synod congregation but have not been active in that congregation for some time, please remain seated during the service of Holy Communion. 

    Exceptions to our practice of Closed Communion may be made under special circumstances, however the place to determine such an exception is not a few minutes before our church service begins; this must be done with the Pastor at a place and time that allows a serious and careful discussion of the individual's circumstances and concerns. 

    If you have not visited our congregation before and are a confirmed and communicant member of a Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod congregation,  we encourage you to contact our Pastor via e-mail (pastor@goodshepherdcharleston.org) or phone contact (843-814-7221) before your visit.

    If you are interested in learning more or reviewing what we believe, teach, and confess speak to the Pastor after the service or contact us via e-mail.

 We thank you for your cooperation and respect for our practice.  May the Holy Spirit bless all as we “search the Scriptures” (John 5:39) and strive to “continue in His Word.” (John 8:31)

For further study, see Matthew 5:23f.; 10:32f.; 18:15-35; 26:26-29; 1 Cor. 11:17- 34.