In the New Testament the Greek word for fellowship, Koinonia, means a joint participation in a common thing and is used in connection with the Gospel, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the one faith, and communion. When churches are in strict agreement regarding such doctrine, we call this “altar and pulpit” fellowship, or simply “church fellowship”. When altar and pulpit fellowship exists the laity of one church may receive Holy Communion from the other church’s pastors. Churches in altar and pulpit fellowship share all spiritual things including a joint responsibility in maintaining a common confession of faith.
We also use the word fellowship to describe lay activities: coffee and snacks after Sunday Worship for example, and our annual Progressive Dinner at Christmas-time. These social events are an important part of bonding in and between our members and friends through a shared faith in Christ. Some group activities also include a strong mission and/or ministry element.