By Water & the Spirit: Theology & Practice of Baptism
a Zoom-based study offered by the Board of Ordained Ministry
Two Zoom Sessions:
- Saturday October 1, 9:00-11:30 AM
- Saturday October 15, 9:00-11:30 AM
Baptism is at the core of who we are as Christians — but how well do we truly understand this sacrament? Those of us who serve in church leadership often face practical questions with deep theological roots. Why do we baptize? What happens in baptism? Why do we baptize infants? What do we mean when we say “remember your baptism” — especially if baptized as an infant? Why don’t we re-baptize? Why don’t we do private baptisms? By getting to the theological heart of baptism, we as church leaders can offer better and more meaningful answers to these questions that so often arise from the pews.
This Zoom-based study is designed to help all church leaders — and in particular, our licensed local pastors and lay-supply pastors — to wrestle with this theological foundation of baptism.
To participate, individuals should read Gayle Carlton Felton’s By Water and the Spirit (available at cokesbury.com) and prepare to share questions in the Zoom gathering. (Real-world questions — as in: What do I say when a person from my church asks _________? — are most welcome!)
Sessions will take place on Saturday October 1 and Saturday October 15, both from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM via Zoom. (Zoom links will be sent upon registration.) Registration deadline is Friday September 23. 0.6 CEUs will be offered to those who complete both sessions of this course.
Rev. Gary Knerr (pastorknerr@
Rev. Gary Knerr is the Lead Pastor at Grove UMC near West Chester, PA. A graduate of Albright College & Princeton Theological Seminary, he is an ordained elder since 1990, and served six charges in Eastern Pennsylvania, comprising suburban, rural, & small town congregations. He is a former co-chair of the Board of Ordained Ministry with a particular interest in sacramental theology and a retired chief officer in the volunteer fire service. He is married to Deb, an interpreter & professor of American Sign Language at West Chester University and the father of two twenty-something adopted daughters from India.
Rev. Candy LaBar (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rev. Candy LaBar currently serves as Lead Pastor of Wesley UMC in Bethlehem, PA. Originally from the former Wyoming Annual Conference, she transferred to Eastern Pennsylvania in 2008 and was ordained as an elder in 2012. She currently serves as the chair of the North DCOM and nurtures a deep interest in sacramental theology and liturgy writing. In her spare time, she enjoys good iced coffee, bad reality television, thought-provoking podcasts, and challenging crochet patterns. She and her husband Keith (a high school choir director) live in the Poconos with their two children.