United Church of Christ Resources

Leading through the Water Leading Through the Water

In Leading through the Water, Paul Galbreath demonstrates one way of linking baptismal practice to daily life as congregations provide an alternative witness to the cultural voices around us. At the same time, it expands the vision of baptism from a single occasion to a distinctive way of life within a community of faith and a primary metaphor for Christian discipleship.

In concert with Leading from the Table, Galbreath continues to explore how the sacraments of baptism and communion connect with the world around us. He is concerned that we too often separate church life from daily life, marginalizing the gospel and the good news that God is with us at all times and places in our lives. Here Galbreath explores Christian discipleship through baptism imagery in Scripture, history, and experience, and identifies patterns of baptismal formation that guide the choices we make each day. He follows the individual's journey through baptism, beginning with inquiry, through the preparation for baptism, the event of baptism itself, and a time of discernment following baptism.

This book will prompt conversations in congregations and classrooms about the ways that our distinct communities of faith can embody the gospel in the world and point to God's faithful presence.

The ritual of baptism has often been reduced to a symbolic 'rite of passage' into a local congregation. Paul Galbreath, reaching into memory and history, has called us as readers into the recovery of the sacred and the transformational as inherent ingredients in this formative event. We all recover in these pages a sense of our full conversion as followers of The Way.

--Daniel G. Bagby, Theodore F. Adams Emeritus Professor of Pastoral Care Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond

In this deep and refreshing work, Galbreath taps the wellspring of ancient Christian tradition, distills clear analysis of our contemporary setting, and draws on a great reservoir of personal and pastoral experience--all to show that Christian life is baptismal life. The church and world are thirsty for such wisdom.

--David Gambrell, Associate for Worship, Office of Theology and Worship, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

With vivid stories and provocative questions, Paul Galbreath leads us on a journey through the waters of baptism. Focusing on how this ancient practice shapes Christian disciples for today, Galbreath illumines baptism as the pattern of a whole life, rooted in God's mercy and turned in compassion toward the world. These reflections will shake and revive you like fresh rain.

--Martha Moore-Keish, Associate Professor of Theology, Columbia Theological Seminary

About the Author
Paul Galbreath is Professor of Worship and Preaching at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA. An ordained Presbyterian minister, he previously served as pastor in congregations in the Pacific Northwest for ten years. He is the author of Leading from the Table, and Doxology and Theology (Peter Lang, 2008).

Publisher: The Alban Institute (April 29, 2011)
Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 8 ounces

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