Holy Baptism

IMG_7409.heic

Holy Baptism is the first of two sacraments in the United Methodist Church, the other being Holy Communion. Baptism is often called the "initiatory sacrament" because it ritually cleanses and marks us as beloved children of God living in community with other Christians. As United Methodists, we encourage persons of all ages to pursue baptism: infants, teens, and adults. God's grace doesn't have an age limit.

 

At Grace, we baptize by pouring or sprinkling holy water over one's head. Holy water is just regular water that has been blessed by a pastor. Then we make the sign of the cross on one's forehead with blessed oil. This is to recognize and seal the presence of the Holy Spirit. Baptisms can be scheduled throughout the year in any of our worship services. 

The United Methodist Church recognizes baptisms from other Christian denominations. Although, we do not re-baptize people, we remember our baptisms in baptismal renewal at various times throughout the year.

Anointing with Oil

"Are any among you sick? They should call the elders of the church and have them pray for them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord" James 5:14

Although it's not a sacrament in our United Methodist tradition, anointing with oil has a long history of helping to create a space where healing can occur. When pastors or lay people pray for someone by laying on hands and/or anointing with oil, we are not claiming to be curing the person. We are not claiming that God will instantly make everything better. Instead, we are seeking to be faithful to continue Christ's threefold ministry of teaching, preaching, and healing.

The Bible clearly calls disciples to pray with and for one another, and this faithful ministry of compassionate touch with prayer performs (or enacts) the grace of God. This anointing touch bridges alienation, isolation, helps break suffering, and lifts discouraged human spirits.

Healing can be offered any time in the office and sometimes during special healing worship services throughout the year. Contact Pastor Seth is you think anointing with oil and prayer would be beneficial to you.