New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in us desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors and all your creation, and to devote each day to your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

"A Liturgy for Morning Prayer," Upper Room Worshipbook

Used by permission from the Book of Common Worship, © 2018 Westminster John Knox Press. All rights reserved. This prayer appears in “A Liturgy for Morning Prayer” in Upper Room Worshipbook.

This Holy Mystery

A United Methodist Understanding of Holy Communion

Gayle Carlton Felton • April 2005

BUY Print $14.00

BUY eBook (Available in ePub or Kindle) $9.99

"This is the body of Christ. This is the blood of Christ."

It's Communion Sunday. The service is a little longer, and the sacrament is observed with gravity. You know it's important, but the wonder is lost. What does it all mean, really?

According to the results of a survey, you're not alone. United Methodists have a strong sense of the importance of Holy Communion, but they also lack a meaningful understanding of the theology behind it. Reclaim a richer sacramental life in your congregation through a group study of This Holy Mystery.

In 2004, the General Conference of The United Methodist Church adopted an official interpretative document on Holy Communion. For the first time in our history, the denomination has an official, comprehensive statement of the practice and theology of the Lord's Supper. Now, it's time for congregations to help members understand the observance.

"We believe that study of this document will yield increased appreciation for the sacrament in the worship experience and enable United Methodist people to draw nourishment and strength for their ongoing journeys of faith," writes Felton.

This Holy Mystery: A United Methodist Understanding of Holy Communion is a study guide of the General Conference-approved document. An all-in-one resource, this book is for both participants and leaders. It's divided into 7 sessions, providing commentary on the history, practice, and principles of Holy Communion in United Methodist congregations. It also points to implications of the sacrament for ministry and mission.

We come to the Table of the Lord, seeking to have our spiritual needs met. The benefits include forgiveness, nourishment, healing, transformation, ministry and mission, and eternal life. Renew your appreciation for the divine grace made available through this sacrament.

Gayle Carlton Felton is a clergy member of the North Carolina Annual Conference, presently serving as Minister of Christian Formation at Calvary UMC in Durham, NC. In addition, she also works as a writer, speaker, and consultant. She continues to be active in the Reconciling movement toward the full inclusion of all persons in the life of the church. Gayle is the author of This Gift of Water, The Coming of Jesus, How United Methodists Study Scripture (editor), and many articles on Methodism. Her greatest contribution to the church is her authorship of the denomination's official interpretive statements on the sacraments -- By Water and the Spirit: A United Methodist Understanding of of Baptism and This Holy Mystery: A United Methodist Understanding of Holy Communion. Gayle is retired from the faculty of Duke Divinity School.

ISBN: 978-0-88177-457-3

Kindle ISBN: 978-0-88177-674-4

EPub ISBN: 978-0-88177-675-1

Imprint: Discipleship Resources

Pub Date: April 2005

Trim Size: 8.375 in (w) x 10.875 in (h) x in (d)

Page Count: 80

BISAC Categories: RELIGION / Christianity / Methodist

BISAC1: REL044000

BISAC2: REL055010