Baptists, communion and wine are words rarely used together
. But they will be the next four Sundays as First Baptist Church in Dayton, Ohio, hosts an Episcopal parish for worship while the latter’s building undergoes renovations.
The joint services will include Anglican rituals of preparation for the bread and wine used in the Eucharist. Grape juice will be offered at two stations for Baptists.
Rather than eyebrows or complaints, the news instead raised questions in the American Baptist congregation about why grape juice is used in the Lord’s Supper at all, said Pastor Rodney Kennedy, a former Southern Baptist from Louisiana.
Greenwood, who described herself as a theological conservative, sent Kennedy an e-mail moments after his announcement.
“Can a Baptist go to the Episcopal station?” she e-mailed Kennedy. “I wouldn’t want to offend them, but whether it is wine or juice doesn’t make a bit of difference to me.”
“Yes you can and should," he wrote back. "I am.”
A first, though, small, step to Orthodoxy.