Baptisms this weekend!

I am so excited about worship this Sunday!! At our 9:30 service we will have two baptisms. First, a beautiful baby girl to welcome into the family of God. Her parents and our church will both make commitments to one another before God that we will strive to raise this child in the faith until she is able to affirm her commitment to God herself at her confirmation. Then, later in the service we will have the opportunity to baptize an adult who is joining our church by profession of faith.

Last week we as a community celebrated communion together.Baptism and communion are the two sacraments recognized in the United Methodist Church. They are both integral to our faith journey.

* Baptism is the sacrament of beginning in Jesus; communion is the sacrament of continuing in Jesus.

* Baptism is the sacrament of incorporation into the vine; communion is the sacrament of remaining in the vine.

* Baptism is the sacrament of initiation into the body of Christ; communion is the sacrament of participation in the body of Christ.

This sermon series we’ve been looking at John Wesley’s three simple rules: Do no harm, do good, and stay in love with God (attend to the ordinances of God). That last rule simply means take advantage of as many means of grace, or practices that remind us of and help us experience God’s love, as often as possible.

Baptism is a one-time sacramental experience and communion is, in our local church, a monthly celebration of God’s presence and love. While these two practices are the only sacraments we recognize, there are other means of grace: prayer, scripture study, fasting, visiting the sick, and feeding the hungry (among others). How often do you let yourself experience a means of grace? Have you felt God’s love through prayer today? If not, what is holding you back?

What practices let you know God loves you and are a means of grace for you?

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