Celiac disease

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rmrichesjr
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Re: Celiac disease

#31

Post by rmrichesjr »

In case it might be of some use, there are some wards where the ward leaders are very aware and go to considerable lengths to safeguard the health of those in their wards. The ward in which I live has several people with celiac disease, at times including some who have been in the bishopric.
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sbradshaw
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Re: Celiac disease

#32

Post by sbradshaw »

I think in most cases, it's that those involved in the sacrament may not fully understand what the issues are, and how to deal with them. I would recommend setting up a meeting with the bishop, sharing resources produced by the Church (General Handbook 18.9.3 would be a good place to start), and following up making sure that issues are communicated from him to the Aaronic Priesthood quorums.
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sbradshaw
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Re: Celiac disease

#33

Post by sbradshaw »

General Handbook, 18.9.3, is the official Church policy from Church headquarters. Information about gluten intolerance has not always been widely available, so there may not have been a clear policy in the past. If it happens that a ward currently is dealing with these challenges, I would kindly nudge them towards the General Handbook, 18.9.3:
If members have gluten intolerance, they discuss with a member of the bishopric what adaptations to make for the sacrament. Members may provide allergen-free bread or another broken bread-like substitute in a sealed plastic bag or cup. They give this to a priesthood holder to place on a separate tray. The bishopric helps those who pass the sacrament know which members to whom the allergen-free item should be passed. The bishopric may modify the procedure as necessary.
They should also consider the section on Food Allergies on the Church website (disability resources section), which goes into more detail:
How can those with food allergies safely partake of the sacrament?
  • Leaders and teachers should be sensitive to the physical and emotional impact food allergies have on an individual and should develop ways to safely include people in all activities and worship—including partaking of the sacrament. The guidelines below may help:
  • Members with food allergies, such as gluten intolerance or other conditions, should inform a member of the bishopric and discuss with him what adaptations may be appropriate for the sacrament.
  • Members may provide their own allergen-free bread or other broken bread-like substitute. Members may bring a prebroken bread substitute in a sealed plastic bag and give it to a priesthood holder to place on a separate tray.
  • During the sacrament, the priesthood holders break the regular bread but do not open the bags or touch the allergen-free bread substitute. The prayer to bless the bread is offered in the normal way.
  • The bishopric sees that the priesthood holders can identify members to whom the allergen-free item should be passed. Those who prepare, administer, and pass the sacrament should receive training on how to avoid cross contamination.
  • Depending on the number of individuals involved or specific circumstances, the bishopric may modify the procedure.
Samuel Bradshaw • If you desire to serve God, you are called to the work.
jakerose
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Re: Celiac disease

#34

Post by jakerose »

All wards in our building went all gluten free for sacrament. So much easier.
drepouille
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Re: Celiac disease

#35

Post by drepouille »

jakerose wrote:All wards in our building went all gluten free for sacrament. So much easier.
We tried that, but then another family was allergic to another ingredient, probably dairy, so we tried using some strange hypoallergenic bread for a while, which tasted like white rice foam.
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sbradshaw
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Re: Celiac disease

#36

Post by sbradshaw »

In case it's helpful, the Food Allergies page from the Church website (quoted above) is now in Gospel Library:
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/stu ... eng#title7
Samuel Bradshaw • If you desire to serve God, you are called to the work.
seelydan
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Re: Celiac disease

#37

Post by seelydan »

Just sharing what we have done in our Ward. For background let me just say that there's been a LOT of good things shared in this forum, thank you to everyone. I am a a counselor in our bishopric and it was brought to our attention of a member in our Ward having celiac but would like to partake of the Sacrament. We weighed a lot of options and we were thinking of switching to using gluten-free bread altogether but the costs and concerns of other allergies, as well as someone not bringing gluten-free bread on any given Sunday, that we could possibly be causing more issues for concern for this one individual and possibly to others by such a change.

Instead what we decided to do was through discussion of General Handbook 18.9.3 we asked the member with the health issue to provide a suitable substitute to use. The suitable solution was using a Chex wafer, which does not require to be refrigerated (like gluten-free bread) and were put into individual small baggies and then placed inside a glass mason jar with a lid, and the jar and lid was written on to explain what it contains and how to handle it. This allows the substituted pieces to remain fresh without having to be refrigerated/frozen when not used, and could be left under the sacrament table or in the bishops office as the jar/lid prevents mice and other rodents/bugs from getting into it.

Now each Sunday one of the individual substituted items can be placed on each bread tray, so no matter where the member of concern sits (or any others with such condition/concern who may be visiting) will have access to a piece of gluten-free "bread"), and any left over wrapped/protected pieces can be put back in the jar for future use.

This may not be bullet-proof for everyone, but this has been the best solution that works for our friend/member and our Ward. Hope this helps others and if anyone has any other ideas, suggestions, concerns please share. Thanks again to all those who have already contributed!
marnofi
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Re: Celiac disease

#38

Post by marnofi »

@seelydan

Cool. Sounds great. However, some people are sensitive enough to need to be concerned about cross-contamination. So, the items may need to be handled first (before the bread, if handled at all), and may need to be put inside something to prevent cross-contamination.

One obstacle is the sound the enclosure makes. When I was on a strict gluten-free diet in 2009, mine were in plastic bags, and they made a lot of sound as I removed the contents (which seemed to attract the attention of people around me). That wasn't ideal. Maybe a cloth pouch (or some such) would be better (not one that bread particles could penetrate).

It might be cool to have a dispenser filled with the item, and the Priesthood holder could use the unit to dispense one of the items into the recipients' hand. That way, no one has to touch it, it doesn't have to be wrapped up, and the recipient can focus on Christ, the atonement, and covenants with God instead of the manner of the sacrament's adminsitration. Filling it would be the anxious part.
HenryGriffin123
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Re: Celiac disease

#39

Post by HenryGriffin123 »

We also faced this. We adhere to the diet found here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coeliac_disease
BrianEdwards
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Re: Celiac disease

#40

Post by BrianEdwards »

Members may bring a prebroken bread substitute in a sealed plastic bag
I definitely don't think the "letter of the law" should override any reasonable accommodation for these types of situations. That said, at the very least I think it's valuable to be aware of the guidelines regarding the allowance of a "prebroken bread substitute". The breaking of the bread is an important symbolic element of the sacramental ordinance, and I think it's worth considering if a different option other than a Chex wafer might be available, which the member could break themselves beforehand. If not, then I'd suggest simply ensuring the member in question is aware of this aspect ,so they can feel like they're still "fully included" even if their emblem is not broken.
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