I’ve known Ken Loyer for well over ten years now. We overlapped in graduate school at SMU, and even though we were in different fields, we were able to have some really good conversations about the church, ministry, and Christian theology. Additionally, I’ve had the opportunity to hear him give some fine papers at the annual meeting of the Wesleyan Theological Society, and he has taught several classes for us at United. Ken is now the pastor of Otterbein United Methodist Church of Spry in York, Pennsylvania, and I have no doubt he is one of the most theologically and pastorally sensitive ministers in our denomination. I have great respect for his theological judgment, and I was very pleased to see that he has a new book out called Holy Communion: Celebrating God with Us.
This book is part of a series by Abingdon called “Belief Matters,” edited by Will Willimon. The description of the series is as follows:
Belief Matters is a series designed to show that by thinking more clearly about faith, persons can love God more fully, live with confidence, and change the world. Conversational in tone, these books are reflections on major theological topics and are suitable for individual or group study.
The book itself is structured on the model of the United Methodist communion liturgy. There are five chapters, plus an introduction and appendix:
Introduction: “Are We Having Communion Today?”
1. A Prayer of Thanksgiving: Seeking the Presence of God
2. Remembering Christ’s Presence with Us
3. Celebrating the Bread of Life Given for All
4. A Foretaste of the Heavenly Banquet
Appendix: Midweek Worship
Holy Communion is a blessed sacrament of the Church and a reliable means of grace, and how we celebrate communion matters. As I’ve written before, properly construed it can serve an important role in the renewal of the Church. Ken’s book is a helpful guide to our common celebration of this gift of God to the Church. I encourage you to pick up a copy.