We celebrate two sacraments in our worship. Sacraments are simply visible signs of an invisible reality that point to God’s grace and presence. Those sacraments include the sharing of the Lord’s Supper, also known as “Communion,” or the “Eucharist” (Eucharist means “thanksgiving); as well as baptism with water. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are two specific occasions during Jesus’ ministry.
Baptism is a declaration of our identity with Jesus as well as entrance into the family of faith. The Lord’s Supper is a recalling, remembering and retelling of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
On the night before his death Jesus shared a meal with his disciples that included wine and bread symbolizing his body and blood. Jesus foretold his death and reminded his disciples that God’s love could never separate them. Jesus told his disciples a new realm of life was unfolding and that every time they gathered they would be reminded of this by sharing the bread and cup associated with his words.
The meaning of The Lord’s Supper
A joyous celebration for what God has done in raising Jesus Christ from death.
A sober reminder of the sacrifice Jesus made in order that the world might experience God more fully.
An affirmation of Christ’s continued presence in us and in the world.
A reminder of the promise that one day the entire creation will be marked by a realm in which no one will be hungry, justice will flow like an ever-flowing stream and peace will fill the entire creation,
An affirmation that we are one “loaf” and one “cup,” created for community and joy.
Who may participate in the Lord’s Supper?
Everyone is welcomed to the Lord’s Table. It is Christ’s table. We are his guests. We encourage children to participate. One does not need to be baptized to share in the Lord’s Supper. We use bread (including gluten free) and grape juice (non-alcoholic) for our sharing of the Lord’s supper.
The Lord’s Supper
“The Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.'” — 1 Corinthians 11:23-25
Early in his ministry Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. During his baptism God’s Spirit descended upon Jesus and claimed him as beloved son. Through baptism we begin our journey of following Jesus. In baptism we have also been claimed as God’s beloved.
The meaning of Baptism
As in Christ’s dying and rising, our baptism is a symbol of our dying and rising with Christ.
A reminder that we are Christ’s disciples, called to minister with Jesus as our example.
Marks our entrance into the faith and family Jesus Christ.
A reminder of God’s grace, a promise of God’s forgiveness.
Signifies the beginning of our life-long journey with Jesus.
Who is baptized in the United Church of Christ and at Immanuel UCC?
Anyone desiring to seek and follow Jesus Christ can be baptized. Infants, children, adults are all welcome to the baptismal font where the ritual of pouring water on the one baptized is practiced, ordinarily during community worship. There are circumstances in which baptism can take place outside the normal course of community worship.