Baptisms

BAPTISMAL POLICY of THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF PELHAM,
UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
“In accordance with the teaching of our Lord and practice prevailing among evangelical Christians,
the United Church of Christ recognizes two sacraments: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper or Holy
Communion.”
—From the Preamble to the Constitution of the United Church of Christ
The First Congregational Church of Pelham strongly encourages that any Parent seeking Baptism for
their children or themselves to have a relationship with the First Congregational Church of Pelham.
Since the members of the church are making promises to support those seeking baptism as they learn
and grow as a Christian, the presence of those seeking baptism is important and necessary.

 

WHAT IS BAPTISM?
The sacrament of baptism is an outward and visible sign of the grace of God. Through baptism, a
person is joined with the universal church, the body of Christ. In baptism, God works in us the power of
forgiveness, the renewal of the spirit, and the knowledge of the call to be God’s people always.
Baptism, then, is the sacrament by which one is initiated into membership in the Christian church.

Baptism with water and the Holy Spirit is the sign and seal of our common discipleship. Since baptism
is God’s gift, the Holy Spirit is called to be upon the water and those being baptized. The act of baptism
also marks the beginning of new life of discipleship with Christ, the human response to that gift.

The Pastor of the First Congregational Church of Pelham will officiate for Baptisms in the church.

 

WHO MAY BE BAPTIZED?
.Infants, children, youth and adults may be baptized in the First Congregational Church of Pelham UCC.
For infants and children, as well as for youth and adults who have never been baptized before, baptism
marks their acceptance into the care of Christ’s church, the sign and seal of God’s grace and
forgiveness, and the beginning of their Christian faith and life.
The United Church of Christ recognizes the validity of all baptisms; therefore, there is no need for re-
baptism.

 

PLANNING FOR BAPTISM
Baptism is a personal celebration in the lives of the individual candidates and their families. It is also a
celebration within the local church family and recognition of its commitment. For this reason, baptism is
celebrated in the presence of the community gathered for worship. Baptism is not a private rite or
celebration. In urgent circumstances, such as imminent death, though not required, please speak with
our Pastor regarding a private Baptism.
 

WHEN BAPTISM TAKES PLACE
Baptism may take place at any worship service where the community is gathered. However, to maintain
the schedule of the First Congregational Church of Pelham, the second Sunday of each month will serve
as Baptismal Sundays.
The request for baptism may be made through the Pastor or the church office. A Baptismal Class is held
a few weeks prior to the date. Please check with the Pastor or the church office for dates. The office
needs the information for the baptismal certificate and church records: full name, birth date and place,
full names of parents including mother’s maiden name. Since a baptismal certificate can serve as a
legal document, it should be complete.

 

****   BAPTISMAL CLASSES ARE NOT OPTIONAL   *** 

When you seek baptism, the church and Pastor are responsible for preparing you for this sacrament so
you can understand what is being done. If you are a parent seeking baptism for your child, you should
understand its meaning for your child and your own responsibility toward your child and the church.