The communion table stands as an intersection between Word and Sacrament, between memory and hope, between pastor and congregation, between receiving and serving, and between community and individual. Leading from the table, says Paul Galbreath, professor of preaching and worship, is a way of thinking, speaking, acting, and living that grows out of learning to recognize and embody these connections in our lives as a congregation and as individuals.
Developing leadership skills that connect the congregation’s eucharistic practice to the life and work of the church is essential to moving toward unity within congregations, denominations, and throughout the church. This book is not a how-to manual on presiding techniques, however. Rather, this book is a series of reflections about the way the prayer at the communion table provides a pattern for our lives. The goal is to shift our understanding of table prayer from a formula led by the pastor to a road map that highlights intersections between the practices at the table and the daily practices in the life of the community that gathers around the table.
When congregations are grounded in word, water, bread, and wine, then the transformative power of God’s Spirit has room to work among us. Then we are blessed with a community that will sustain us to work for justice and peace in this world.