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From Living Water to Running Water


From Living Water to Running Water

Water is a powerful religious symbol. In Genesis, God's Spirit dances over chaotic waters to stir up and give birth to the wonders of creation. Isaiah promises that God's people will be like well-watered gardens, like springs whose waters never fail. In the New Testament, Jesus is baptized in the waters of the Jordan River, and in Revelation, a river of the water of life flows clear as crystal. But many people in the world today lack access to clean water. Water is not plentiful in all places and in some places, waters flow less abundantly than ever before. This workshop explores relationships between the waters that sustain our everyday lives and the waters of baptism. Participants will consider how a greater awareness of the sacramental dimensions of the "places" where we live and work nourishes our capacity to contribute to communal and global water health and well-being. Workshop participants will participate in a creek walk, learn about local water gifts and challenges, and imagine ways to infuse Sunday worship with what they experience and learn.

Rev. Stuart Taylor, pastor of Elkin Presbyterian Church (North Carolina) and Dr. Jill Crainshaw, Blackburn Professor of Worship and Liturgical Theology, will lead this workshop beginning in the sanctuary of Elkin Presbyterian Church in front of the baptismal font where we will wrestle with this question: “What would it mean to move from an understanding of the sacred water of our baptism to the sacredness of all water?”

After a film on Watershed Now, we will begin a walking meditation that will carry us across the street from the church to our municipal park. There we will walk along Big Elkin Creek, the water source for this community and see a number of watershed stewardship initiatives along the way. We will discuss efforts to prevent pollution from contaminating this beautiful creek. Our afternoon together will culminate at Elkin Creek Vineyard where we will see the location of a new stream restoration project. Wine tasting will be done at an affordable group rate and will set the stage for conversation with the wine maker about nature’s miracle of turning water into wine.

Cost: Free

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part of the Saving Places, Savoring Graces: Exploring a Grounded Worship Spirituality workshop series offered by the School of Divinity's Food, Faith, and Religious Leadership Initiative

People encounter God as they live, work, and play in human communities. Worship arises from and returns to daily life in human communities. This series explores "grounded" dimensions of worship, spirituality and communal life--bread, water, and transformative power of fermentation. The series invites participants to consider anew those sacramental dimensions of everyday life experiences such as cooking, eating and drinking, playing, giving birth, rearing children, and caring for persons who are sick and dying. The series also explores connections between these daily experiences and communal worship. What we do in Christian worship is connected to everyday life. What we do in worship cultivates in us wisdom for responding with Gospel care to local and global problems such as hunger, injustice, and ecological degradation. Our worship is grounded in God's good earth and in particular places where we live and work together. Worship can inspire us to savor God's grace as it arises from God's good earth, and it can challenge us to work together to sustain the life-giving dimensions of the places where we live, work, and play.

Learn more.


Image: Wabash Watershed, Indiana


Saturday, April 9, 2016 at 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Elkin Presbyterian Church 151 Hillcrest Drive, Elkin NC 28621

Event Type

Religious Observance, Conference / Panel, Workshop, Community, Academic Calendar: Divinity


School of Divinity

Target Audience

General Public






Contact name

Hilary Floyd, Program Associate for Community and Lifelong Learning

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