“Therefore we have been buried with Christ by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” -Romans 6:4
“Do this in remembrance of me.” – Jesus
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 you are eligible for 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, go to our Sacraments page and fill out a Baptism Form to schedule an appointment with a pastor.
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 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, 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. During the COVID19 pandemic, we are using individually packaged communion kits; gluten free kits are available at our welcome table.
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.