Sacraments are the material signs & actions that God has chosen as special ways to give us grace. United Methodists recognize two sacraments commanded by Jesus Christ: Baptism & Communion
Baptism is a gift from God, through which we are welcomed into God’s family, the church. The waters of baptism are an outward sign of the spiritual blessing which God pours out upon the baptized.
At Wesley Freedom, we celebrate baptisms on the third Sunday of the month. We baptize by sprinkling, pouring, or immersion (off-site, if requested).
Baptism is a Sign of
Since the time of the Apostles, when a household joined the Church, everyone would be baptized – adults and children. Then and now, Christian parents of young ones share their love for Christ through their promise to raise their children in the church at their child’s baptism.
As baptism is the beginning of an ongoing relationship between the baptized and their families and the church we are eager to begin or recommit to this relationship with you. We ask that parents/families participate in a baptism class prior to scheduling the baptism of a child. This will give you opportunity to deepen your understanding of baptism and consider how we will live out our baptismal promises together. Repeating the class for additional children gives an opportunity to deepen your relationship with our pastors and other families with young children. We also ask that you attend worship at Wesley Freedom several times prior to attending the baptism class.
After participating in your baptism class you will be sent a link to schedule your child’s baptism.
Youth & Adults
We baptize youth and adults who desire to begin or affirm their relationship with Christ and the church through baptism. Those old enough to speak for themselves claim Christ as Lord and Savior at their baptism. If you are interested in being baptized, contact a pastor or youth leader and we will schedule a time to prepare for your baptism.
Holy Communion (or the Lord’s Supper, or Eucharist) is a mystery too deep for words. United Methodists believe that when we celebrate this sacrament Christ is really present through the community gathered in Jesus’ name, through the Word proclaimed and enacted, and through the elements of bread and wine shared. We proclaim three central things in our celebration of communion: “Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again”
At Wesley Freedom, we celebrate communion every week at the 8:00am service, and on the first Sunday of every month & special occasions at the 9:30am & 11:00am services. The elements are bread and unfermented grape juice, and we have gluten-free elements available. We practice an open table, meaning all Christians are welcome at our table, whatever their denomination or age.
No preparatory class is required for children to receive communion. Because Christ commanded us not to put any barrier in front of a child coming to him, even infants and toddlers are welcome to receive the grace freely given by God through the sacraments.
Have Questions About Sacraments at Wesley Freedom?
Check out our FAQs or email Pastor Ian
Methodists (and most Christians) believe that God acts through God’s creations and through human actions to heal us from sin and give us the power to become like Jesus. We call these “the means of Grace.”
Sacraments (Baptism & Holy Communion) are a special kind of means of Grace that were commanded by Jesus himself. We believe that the sacraments are not mere symbols, but since Jesus promised to act through them, God is actually at work in the water of Baptism and in the Bread & Wine at communion.
Baptism (literally, “dunking”) is the ritual of becoming a Christian and one of the two sacraments in Methodism (see above for what a Sacrament is). Converts are dunked under water (or, water is poured over their heads) to symbolize their re-birth as a Christian. However, Methodists don’t believe that baptism is merely symbolic – in line with the teaching of the church since the time of the apostles, we believe that in baptism God’s grace is at work to actually forgive our sins, empower us to live like Christ, and adopt us as God’s children.
Probably not. Since we believe that Christian baptism is something that is ultimately God working and not just a human action or symbol, we believe that God faithfully works whenever someone is baptized following Christ’s command (in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit). So, if you were baptized in a mainline Protestant denomination (Presbyterian, Baptist, Lutheran, Episcopal/Anglican, Methodist, UCC, Reformed), the Roman Catholic Church, or an Eastern Orthodox Church, you don’t need to ever be baptized again.
However, The United Methodist Church doesn’t recognize baptisms of groups that don’t baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, or that don’t believe in the way God is described in the Nicene Creed (like Oneness Pentecostals, Unitarians, and Latter Day Saints/Mormons). If you were baptized in one of these traditions, then you are eligible to receive Christian baptism in The United Methodist Church.
If you have never received the sacrament of Christian baptism and God is calling you to become a Christian, the first thing you should do is talk to one of our pastors!
Most adults who accept God’s invitation to baptism do so at the same time that they join Wesley Freedom as a member, so they take our New Member class first. More information on membership can be found here.
While membership is not required to have a child baptized at Wesley Freedom, part of the vows that parents & guardians make during a child’s baptism is to raise the child in the Church. If you want your child baptized, first come and worship with Wesley Freedom for a little while to be sure that this is the community of faith that is right for your family and in which you want to nurture your child’s faith.
Then, read over the UMC’s beliefs about baptism linked at the top of this page and sign up for a Baptism Class with one of our Pastors.
Holy Communion is a sacrament in which we pray a prayer of thanks over bread and wine (we use unfermented grape juice) and we believe that they really become the body and blood of Christ in a spiritual sense. In this ritual, we get to touch and taste God.
In Holy Communion, we believe that Christ makes himself present in the elements and in the gathered community, and gives us grace through the celebration & the receiving of the bread and cup. This grace continues to transform us to become more like Jesus and plants the seeds of resurrection in our bodies so that we, too, will rise like Christ.
Yes! There is no minimum age or any required class to participate in Holy Communion. We believe that The Body & Blood of Christ should be available to spiritually support the whole body of Christ, kids included.
Yes! The invitation to participate in Holy Communion is to all who love Christ, earnestly repent of their sins, and seek to live in peace with one another. So, if you love Jesus, desire to no longer sin, and seek to love your neighbor, you are welcome to receive communion here.
Customarily, Holy Communion is a meal for baptized Christians. If you haven’t been baptized yet, you can also participate in Holy Communion with us, but if God is calling you to receive this sacrament, this is evidence that God is calling you to be baptized and become a Christian. In this case, you should talk to a pastor after the service so that you can be baptized as soon as possible.
Gluten-free communion is always available when we celebrate this sacrament.
If your allergy prevents you from eating traditional and gluten free bread, or from drinking grape juice, the tradition of the church is that Christ is fully present in each element by itself, so you can receive the full benefit of Communion from the element you are able to eat.
If you are unable to consume both bread and juice, the tradition of the church is that God will always provide the grace of Communion to those who desire to receive while being physically unable.