Deepen your own and your congregation’s understanding and practice of Holy Communion, or begin a Eucharistic ministry, through this wide-ranging study of This Holy Mystery, Scripture, Church history and United Methodist theology and practice of the sacrament. This course will reference, but go beyond, the official U.M. documents to include art, music, film and video resources to enrich our understanding and participation in the sacrament. Recent conversation in the UMC about the Table in the digital age will be included.
Participants will need a Bible and, if possible, a U.M. Hymnal and Book of Worship; other materials (including This Holy Mystery) will be downloaded. Class members should be prepared for daily reading, reflection and online discussion. This study is guaranteed to deepen your experience of Holy Communion, providing resources and ideas for all, both laypeople and clergy, who plan and lead worship and provide pastoral care.
This course has been approved by Discipleship Ministries (formerly the General Board of Discipleship) as an advanced course with 10 contact hours in Lay Servant Ministries.
This course is eligible for 1.0 CEU.
About the Instructor
Beth Galbreath is a United Methodist deacon whose specialty is “digital culture ministry,” which includes everything the Church needs to do to move from the print-literate culture of the last five centuries to the digital-communication culture of the 21st. She is one of the few (but proud!) graduates of the former Lumicon Institute’s certification program in digital culture ministry. “Digital culture ministry” is not just about technology; it includes re-emphasis on spiritual formation practices. To that end she holds a master’s from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in spiritual formation and evangelism. She loves to bring a multimedia, multi-intelligence approach to classes.
Digital culture ministry is also about ancient-future worship arts and education styles, especially an emphasis on story; to that end she is a passionate biblical storyteller and teacher. She is an ambassador of the Network of Biblical Storytellers International and coordinates the NBSI-related Chicago-area Prairie Wind Guild: Tellers of Sacred Stories. She’s taught biblical storytelling abroad in Cameroon, Bolivia, Haiti and the Philippines.
Beth serves the Northern Illinois Conference as co-chair of its Order of Deacons, and is a certified Natural Church Development coach. She also serves on the pastoral leadership team of Compassion UMC in Brookfield, IL, a new church plant. Her ministry includes consulting, teaching, and small group leadership. She is also an activist for solar energy, prison ministry, interfaith understanding, and eco-sustainability. Rev. Galbreath is the author of The Story and the Feast, a digital resource (three CDs of text and slides) of liturgy for Holy Communion, connected to the weekly stories and texts of the lectionary, and including notes for biblical storytellers.
Past Students Said…
“Before I took this class, I would have told you I was very familiar with the Methodist way of ‘doing’ communion. Come to the Table has given me new things to consider, increased my knowledge, and enriched my understanding. This was my first class through BeADisciple, but it won’t be my last…. Yes, I would recommend the course to others—including my pastor.” – Jana White
“The fact that this class was online was wonderful! I’ve been needing a refresher course on the sacraments, but with a pastor’s hectic schedule, fitting one in can be difficult. This allowed me to have the flexibility of working it around my life.” – Amanda Gayle Reed
“One of the neat things about these classes [Come to the Table & Come to the Waters] is that no one is forced to take them. My goal is to learn, and learning from Beth is a pleasure. Her classes are so good. Plus, wow, I learn so much from my classmates. I am hungry to do this – to learn and prepare for whatever it is that God wants me to do.” – Steve Kesler
“I will never approach communion the same again! It has taken on a new life for me!” – Derl Littrell
“As a pastor, it was helpful to be reminded. Perhaps because we spend so much time preparing sermons and researching history, etc., the big picture sometimes becomes swallowed up by details. It was good to step back and experience the excursion through history in one of the sessions. There was also a LOT of information about new ways Communion is being ministered and many opportunities to look at different liturgies and processes. It was just very helpful.” – Minnie Bailey
“Accessible, meaningful theology, from roots to practical manifestations…Not a single occasion where I felt my time was wasted or that we were just going through the motions to get through a section of the material…Beth is especially adept at framing the material, eliciting substantive discussion, keeping discussion germane and responding appropriately to questions or student confusion…The way the class was organized and the content covered lead naturally from learning to action. There are quite a number of things from theology to ideas and suggestions which will stay with me as I network and minister to others.” – Jon Wooldridge
“Great content and so well organized! Beth is so knowledgeable and very encouraging. I definitely plan to take more online courses with BeADisciple.” – Lisa Sanborn