Infant Baptism
Thank you for your interest in Infant Baptism at Grace. We are happy to provide some practical guidelines that we hope you will find helpful.
Considerations for Parents
Normally, at least one parent should be a member and currently on the roll at Grace. First-time parents are asked to meet with Pastor John at least a month before their requested baptism date (please contact the office for availability of baptism dates). Parents who have previously met with Pastor John and are requesting baptism for a second or subsequent child are not required to meet again. We will do our best to honor requested baptism dates and service time preferences in accordance with these guidelines, and in the order in which requests are received.
Why do we baptize infants?
We believe that baptism is:
  • A sign and seal of God’s covenant promise to grant the benefits signified by it to all who exercise faith in the redemptive work of Christ alone;
  • To be applied to a child of believing parents, and marks entrance into the covenant community.
  • Signifies God reaching into the child’s life in a real way with the hope and belief that one day the child will reach back towards God and say yes to God’s calling on their lives!
Q. To whom is baptism to be administered?
A. Baptism is not to be administered to any that are out of the visible church, till they profess their faith in Christ, and obedience to Him; but the infants of such members of the visible church are to be baptized.
“The promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:39
Communion
“When Jesus was at table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him.” Luke 24:30-31
What is a sacrament at Grace?
Sacraments are ritual actions in worship which, according to Scripture, were instituted by Jesus. In the sacraments of baptism and communion we ask the Holy Spirit to use water, bread, and wine to make visible the grace, forgiveness, and presence of God in Christ.
 
The Origin of Communion
The Communion meal recalls the table fellowship Jesus shared with his disciples, and in particular the Last Supper on the night before his death as well as his appearances to the disciples during meals following his resurrection. Throughout its history these Biblical events have been central to the Church’s worship life.
 
The Meaning of Communion
In the sacrament of Holy Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper or Eucharist, meaning “thanksgiving,” Christians hear, taste, touch and receive the grace of God revealed through Jesus Christ in a unique way. Communion is:
  • a joyous act of thanksgiving for all God has done, is doing, and will do for the redeeming of creation;
  • a sacred memorial of the crucified and risen Christ, a living and effective sign of Christ’s sacrifice in which Christ is truly and rightly present to those who eat and drink;
  • an earnest prayer for the presence of the Holy Spirit to unite those who partake with the Risen Christ and with each other, and to restore creation, making all things new;
  • an intimate experience of fellowship in which the whole church in every time and place is present and divisions are overcome;
  • a hopeful sign of the promised realm of God marked by justice, love and peace.
Communion is “the invitation and the call to the supper celebrate not only the memory of a meal that is past, but an actual meal with the risen Christ that is a foretaste of the heavenly banquet at which Christ will preside at the end of history.”
 
What elements are used? What do they mean?
The broken bread and poured wine represent—present anew—the crucified and risen Christ. The wheat gathered to bake one loaf and the grapes pressed to make one cup remind participants that they are one body in Christ, while the breaking and pouring announce the costliness of Christ’s sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin.
 
How is Communion served?
Grace employs a variety of practices in serving Communion. Most commonly, individual wafers and cups are passed through the pews by communion ushers. Intinction is another practice, in which people come forward, take a piece of bread, and dip it in the juice. Care is taken to ensure that the full meaning of the sacrament is communicated by the way the elements are used and served. The Pastor usually presides at the table, assisted by Ruling Elders.
 
Who may receive Communion?
At Grace the communion table is open to all baptized Christians who wish to know the presence of Christ and to share in the community of God’s people. Pastor John believes communion is a converting ordinance, a time in which we “break bread with God” and get to know God in and through this meal.
 
What about children?
In many Christian churches baptized children and even infants are able to receive communion. At Grace children are welcome to receive communion according to their parents’ preference.
 
How often is Communion served?
In the early church Communion was served weekly, a practice continued and encouraged by the Protestant Reformers. Gradually the frequency of communion decreased in many Protestant churches. We currently serve communion the first Sunday of the month in our Traditional Service, and the third Sunday of the month in the Contemporary Service.