According to the Methodist Worship Book, baptism (or Christening) marks entry into the Universal and Apostolic Church, of which the Methodist Church is part. The Methodist Church, like most denominations of the Christian Church, administers the sacrament to both adults and young children.
How do we go about getting our child baptized?
Parents wishing to have their children baptized should speak with our Pastor; she will be able to explain what's involved. It may involve some class for parents.
Can you be baptized as a child and as an adult - for instance if you return to the Church after a break?
In the Methodist Church baptism as an infant would normally be followed by confirmation and reception into membership at the point where the person wishes to take on the commitment and responsibility of Christian discipleship for themselves and to play a full part in the life of the Church.
This is best summed up in the Methodist Worship Book: "In Confirmation, those who have been baptized declare their faith in Christ and are strengthened by the Holy Spirt for continuing discipleship."
Holy Baptism is a Covenant between an individual and God. It is God’s word to us. A service of reaffirmation may be possible.
People of all ages can be baptized at Journey of Faith UMC. We baptize by sprinkling Holy Water and make the sign of the cross on the forehead with water or anointing oil to invite the presence of the Holy Spirit.
An immersion service, if wished, can be conducted for those adults who have not previously been baptize and choose this method. The United Methodist Church recognizes baptisms from other faiths and churches and therefore does not “re-baptize”.
Some parents may consider that a service of baptism is not the most appropriate service for them and their child. They may think it is too weighty in terms of their own faith, or that the promises involved go beyond what they can say with integrity.
Some parents may be adopting a child who has already been baptized.
Some may have a child who was baptized in emergency circumstances in hospital or at home.
Other parents, who may themselves be committed Christians, feel strongly (because baptism is so meaningful) that they want their child to be able to ask for baptism, if and when they are ready to respond for themselves.
If you are not sure whether Baptism or an Act of Thanksgiving would be more appropriate for you and your child, talk it through with our Pastor, who will be able to advice.
If you are planning to get married and are considering a Methodist Church, here are guidelines to help you before speaking to our Pastor.
What is the first step?
To contact our Pastor for an initial conversation where she will explain the Marriage service and preparation classes is provided by her.
One of us is divorced. Is that OK?
In contacting our Pastor she will be able to have a meaningful conversation to explain and best advice you.
Our Pastor would also expect people to take very seriously their responsibilities to any children of the marriage.
Does one of us have to be a Methodist?
People wanting to marry in church don't have to be members of the church, but you may be asked why they wish to marry in church.
A church marriage is a solemn Christian ceremony, with prayers and Bible readings reflecting Christian understandings of what marriage is about and a genuine desire on the part of a couple to take their marriage seriously along the lines set out in the service.
Christians believe that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ give them hope and cause for thanksgiving in the face of death. In this faith we entrust those who have died to the infinite mercy and love of God. A funeral service acknowledges this hope and offers bereaved people the opportunity to remember their loved one’s life and offer them into God’s care. If you would like a funeral to involve the church then speaking to our Pastor is a good idea to find out if she is available before booking the time and date of the service.
The person who has died may have left details of the sort of funeral that they hoped for; our Pastor will do everything she can to support families in keeping to such arrangements as much as possible and in making the service a personal and appropriate occasion.
Often it is only after the funeral that the full extent of loss affects the bereaved.
Grieving is a natural and important part of coming to terms with and healing this loss and it may continue for several months. Our Minister may be able to offer help or find others who can provide such friendship and support. There are patterns and themes to bereavement but each person is different and it is important for people to be supported in finding their own way through grief.