United Methodist Sacraments

Pastor Ernie baptizes a baby Baptism: This is the first of two sacraments United Methodists observe. It is a sign of entry into the church. John Wesley, our founder under God, made this useful remark about baptism: “Baptism is not only a sign of profession and mark of difference whereby Christians are distinguished from others that are not baptized; but it is also a sign of regeneration and new birth.” (Book of Discipline) We always mean Baptism to be more than an empty ritual, and we look for God’s participation in the event. That is why we take this sacrament seriously, urging at least one of the parents to be an active, participating member of our church family. At the same time, because we understand baptism to be a joyful celebration for the church as well as family and friends, we remain invitational about this sacrament. We are always willing to work with those desiring Baptism for themselves or their children.

Communion: This is our second sacrament. It is variously referred to as “Holy Communion,” “The Lord’s Supper,” or the “Eucharist.” In our Methodist tradition one does not need to be a member to receive this sacrament. We view this sacrament as a sign of God’s grace freely extended to all people, and we thus encourage all, by faith, to receive this sacrament. We usually observe this on the first Sunday of each month at each of our three services. The traditional way of receiving this sacrament in our tradition it to come forward to the “communion rail,” and to kneel and receive a small piece of bread and a small cup of grape juice (never alcoholic) as signs of the body and blood of Christ. This is a memorial feast as well as a means of grace. At some of our worship services we receive this sacrament by “Intinction.” This means that as people come forward they remain standing, and receive a piece of bread which they lightly dip into the chalice containing grape juice. Then return to their seats. Some elect to pause a moment and kneel before they return to their seats. Because there is no membership requirement for this sacrament, it is a powerful sign of our inclusiveness as a congregation and church.