Living Water: Baptism as a Way of Life

Article excerpt

Living Water: Baptism as a Why of Life. By Klara Tammany. New York: Church Publishing Inc., 2002. xvi + 230 pp. $22.95 (paper).

In the prologue to her book, Living Water: Baptism as a Way of Life, Klara Tammany begins by telling the story of the loon, a "mystical" bird of northern lakes. A spiritual encounter with the loon years ago initiated Tammany's personal and spiritual transformation: "A realization took hold of me that we as Christians, like the loon, are only a generation away from extinction" (p. xv).

Living Water is both a joyous and a challenging celebration of baptism and the Christian life. As an avid storyteller and experienced Christian educator, Tammany has gathered a diverse collection of material related to the baptismal journey. One of the concerns of the book is to assist Christians in bridging the gap between heilig observers of baptism, and participants in a conscious way of living their faith. Our spiritual ancestors were not baptized in stagnant pools, but in rushing, coursing, moving waters. This book is intended as a resource for those interested in prayerfully reflecting on baptism as a way of life, rather than a one-time event. Tammany shapes this conversation about baptism around two key questions: What does your life say about your belief? How does your belief in God influence the way you live; your life?

Living Water is organized around the themes of the baptismal covenant, and provides opportunities for personal, individual instruction and small group discussion. As the author shares her own questions and reflections on baptism, the stories, visual art, Scripture, silence, poetry, song, and visual presentation of the book invite readers on a journey of their own. …