In recent decades the United Methodist Church has been reclaiming the sacraments of Holy Communion and Baptism as powerful means of grace which shape and empower our life of faith as a community and as individuals. These online classes created by Rev. Galbreath (and available only online) give clergy and laypeople a deeper experience of the sacraments and many ideas for deepening their congregations' sacramental practice.
All resources are provided as free downloads so there is no book to buy. These wide-ranging classes interpret the official United Methodist teaching documents on the sacraments, This Holy Mystery and By Water and the Spirit, but go far beyond them, beginning with scripture and ranging through church history, theology, ecumenical understandings, and practical how-to's for worship and for setting up a Eucharistic ministry or enriching confirmation or adult membership classes. Reading and discussion are enriched with the arts of music, video and sacred art and architecture.
Each class lasts two weeks (Sundays are "off"). There's no set time to be online each day; you fit the class reading and assignments to your schedule.
It's been the experience of previous classes that conversations among participants who are laypeople and clergy has been excellent for both, giving both pastors and people new ideas for their congregations' celebration of Holy Communion, Baptism, confirmation and other reaffirmations of the baptismal covenant. Practical helps for starting a Eucharistic ministry, taking Communion to those who are unwillingly absent, are also part of Come to the Table.
These courses are official advanced classes for Lay Servant Ministries, but all clergy and laity, from any denomination, are welcome.
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Come to the Table
"I loved Come to the Waters! This kind of experience is what I look forward to in Continuing Education. I gained so much from the reading assignments, as well as, the posts from other participants. My knowledge has deepened and my spirit has been blessed.
- Frances Dowdle, 2016
"Come to the Waters is a phenomenal course. Beth is a wonderful facilitator/instructor, and this study truly enriched my knowledge and blessed my spirit."
- Elaine Pope-Joffrion, 2016
Beth, just wanted to take a moment to thank you for the fantastic experience!! One of the best I have participated in. You did a great job, very encouraging and factful and unwrapped a lot about communion. It has really opened my eyes and my heart. Thank you.
- Derl Littrell – Come to the Table, 2016
"I plan to refer to some of these materials in the future. I also plan to continue making communion bread for those who want to partake in the common loaf. This course has provided affirmation that I should continue this practice because it offers a little more meaning to the sacrament. It wasn't just me, it wasn't just in my head--it is part of the tradition!" --- Spring 2012
" Both were well organized with great resources and well-written and beautifully illustrated lessons. The questions that we responded to in our daily posts were thought provoking and generated lots of dialogue.
"Lay Servants and pastors from all over the country participated and I learned a great deal from interacting with them on the discussion board. Beth commented on all our posts, offering affirmation, encouragement, clarification, and lots of new information as our “conversations” progressed. I have already checked to see what else she will be teaching this year."
--- Susan Webb, Spring 2013