While baptism is an important sacrament (means of grace), it is not absolutely necessary for salvation. Salvation is through Christ alone. When an infant is baptized, the parents or sponsors promise to raise the child in a Christian home and the congregation recognizes it responsibility in the Christian nurture of the child. Those vows are later reaffirmed by the child when he or she is confirmed as a full church member. An infant who dies without having been baptized is as much within the love and care of God as the baptized infant.
As youth and adults, baptism is a means for us to accept God’s gift of grace through Jesus Christ and yield our lives to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Baptism is a necessary first step toward becoming a professing member of the United Methodist Church.
Since we do not believe that the mode of baptism is as important as the symbolism and meaning of the event, we practice three different ways of being baptized: Sprinkling, Pouring and Immersion.
It is our belief that baptism is God’s work and not ours, therefore, we do not re-baptize. However, we do offer services of renewal or remembrance of the baptismal vows. If you were baptized in another Christian denomination and wish to become a member of our church, your previous baptism will be accepted.
We traditionally observe the sacrament of Holy Communion (Also known as the Lord’s Supper) on the first Sunday of every month, in addition to other special occasions such as Christmas Eve, Maundy Thursday, or Good Friday. Although the invitation may vary, anyone may participate who responds affirmatively to the invitation: “Christ our Lord invites to his table all who love Him, who earnestly repent of their sin and seek to live in peace with on another.” The Lord’s Supper is open to all persons. You do not have to be a member of the church or be a particular age. Children may not fully comprehend what is going on, but they know when they are excluded. Jesus welcomed the little children and so should we.
The bread and wine (grape juice) represent the body and blood of Jesus as he spoke of them at the last supper with His disciples before being crucified. We do not believe that the elements literally turn into the body and blood of Christ. The use of unfermented grape juice instead of wine has been practiced by the Methodist Church since the late nineteenth century. This is our way of expressing concern for recovering alcoholics, enables the participation of children and youth, and supports the Methodist church’s historic witness of abstinence from alcoholic beverages.