Sacraments in the UMC
United Methodists practice 2 sacraments that Christ himself participated in: Baptism and Holy Communion.
BAPTISM at the HOUSE OF HOPE
At Houserville UMC House of Hope, all are welcome to be baptized, from infants to adults. It is the first step of faith! Baptism with water is a public act that symbolizes that we have chosen to begin a new life and accept God’s healing love and forgiveness.
All who have never been baptized and are ready to take this first step are invited to talk to the pastor and be baptized. Those who prefer to experience baptism in Spring Creek are welcome to do so, you just need to discuss it with the pastor ahead of time. Baptism dates can be coordinated with families for baptisms at the church.
The House of Hope is here to support you in your new life and help you learn and grow in faith. We welcome all who seek as well as all who are baptized to God’s family.
What is Baptism?
AN EXPLANATION OF BAPTISM
By Gayle C. Felton
Baptism brings us into union with Christ, with each other, and with the Church in every time and place. Baptism offers the promise that the Holy Spirit will always be working in our lives. The New Testament records that Jesus was baptized by John (Matt 3:13-17), and he commanded his disciples to teach and baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19). Baptism is grounded in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; the grace which baptism makes available is that of the atonement of Christ which makes possible our reconciliation with God. Baptism involves dying to sin, newness of life, union with Christ, receiving the Holy Spirit, and incorporation into Christ’s Church.
In both the Old and New Testament, God enters into covenant relationship with God’s people. A covenant involves promises and responsibilities of both parties. The baptism of infants and adults, both male and female, is the sign of this covenant.
We offer baptism to people of all ages who have not previously received Christian baptism in any form. We do not rebaptize those who have already received Christian baptism in any form. Even when the people being baptized are believing adults and are ready to profess their faith, our first emphasis is upon the gracious action of God who establishes the covenant of baptism with us rather than upon the individual's decision.
For more detailed information about baptism and its meaning, please see:
Full-text of By Water and the Spirit: http://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/by-water-and-the-spirit-full-text
UMC FAQ about Baptism, Membership and Salvation: http://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/faqs-about-baptism-membership-and-salvation
Communion AT THE HOUSE OF HOPE
The Lord's Supper (also called Holy Communion, Eucharist) is OPEN TO ALL at the House of Hope. Just as Jesus didn't turn away any from his table, neither do we. Here are some things about Communion:
- The Lord's Supper and Communion are names for the Eucharist, the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving the church offers to God for all God has done, is doing, and will do to save us and renew all things in Christ.
- Through offering ourselves in praise and thanksgiving, and through receiving the bread and cup—which the Spirit makes for us the body and blood of Christ—celebrating Holy Communion together nourishes and sustains us in our journey as disciples of Jesus Christ.
- As we pray together and receive the body and blood of Christ together, we are united with Christ, with one another, and in ministry to all the world.
- All who love Christ, earnestly repent of their sin and seek to live in peace with one another are invited to join us in offering our prayer of thanksgiving and receive the body and blood of Christ—regardless of age or church membership.
- At the House of Hope, we typically serve communion by intinction, which means that participants take a piece of bread from the common loaf and dip it into the goblet of grape juice (NOTE: We do not use wine with communion as a way of supporting and walking alongside those who struggle with alcohol addiction).
- The Lord's Supper is to be celebrated and received regularly—John Wesley said, “as often as [one] can.”
For further study:
- This Holy Mystery, the church's official statement on communion.
- The Meaning of Holy Communion, a booklet based on the church’s official statement.
- An open table: How United Methodists understand communion
- We Are Nourished by Communion