Sacraments

Throughout God’s history with us, God has often made material things channels through which grace is understood and powerfully experienced.  Out of the life and ministry of Jesus, the church received Baptism and the Lord’s Supper as special sacraments of God’s saving action. We believe that in the washing with water and in the eating of bread and drinking of wine, the Holy Spirit demonstrates and confirms the promises of God with vividness and power.  In these concrete human actions, believers declare their acceptance of God’s promises.

Baptism

We believe that in Baptism, the Spirit demonstrates and confirms God’s promise to include us and our children in God’s covenant, cleansing us from sin, and giving us newness of life, as participants in Christ’s death and resurrection.  Baptism sets us in the visible community of Christ’s people and joins us to all other believers by a powerful bond.  In Baptism, we give ourselves up in faith and repentance to be the Lord’s. For both children and adults, baptism is a reminder that God loves us long before we can possibly love God. God’s grace and our response to it are not tied to the moment of Baptism but continue and deepen throughout life. Because Baptism is the beginning of life in Christ and God’s grace and faithfulness is ever constant, we believe that a person need only be baptized once.  In accordance with this understanding, we recognize all Christian baptisms as valid, regardless of the specific tradition in which the sacrament was celebrated.  Persons desiring to be baptized, or desiring to present their children for baptism, should contact one of the pastors of the church to make arrangements.

Communion

We believe that at the Lord’s Supper the community of believers is renewed by the memory of Christ’s life and death and by his real presence in the power of the Holy Spirit. Christ makes himself known to us in the breaking of bread. He offers us his body broken for our sake and his blood shed for the forgiveness of our sins. We accept his promises and gifts and depend on his life to sustain ours. In turn we offer ourselves in thanksgiving to the risen Lord.  United around one loaf and cup, we receive strength and courage to continue our pilgrimage with God in the world. We believe that God’s unconditional grace and love is extended to all.  As such, all who trust in Christ are welcomed to the Table; no one is excluded.  Communion is celebrated at Maxwell Street at least monthly at the 10:30 service.  It is also celebrated on major holidays and is brought to the  homes of those who cannot attend worship on a regular basis.