Baptism and Profession of Faith
“The Baptismal Covenant is God’s word to us, proclaiming our adoption by grace, and our word to God promising our response of faith and love.” (UMH, p. 32)
Through the sacrament of baptism we are “initiated” into the church, the Body of Christ. Baptism is a gift of unmerited grace through the Holy Spirit. As a faith response, we confess our faith in and commitment to Jesus Christ and are joined to a community of Christian faith.
“Those baptized before they are old enough to take the vows for themselves
make their personal profession of faith in the service called confirmation.
Those who are able to take the vows for themselves at their baptism” (UMH, p. 32)
make their public profession of faith at the font.
Those who have been previously baptized, but have never become full members of the church, may be confirmed and received into full membership. Those who have not yet been baptized may be baptized and received on profession of faith. During preparation for confirmation, it is recommended that the confirmand embark upon serious study of the doctrines of The United Methodist Church and the nature and mission of the Church, which leads to growth in knowledge, grace, and service of our Lord Jesus Christ. Confirmation classes are led by the pastor with the assistance of the director of Christian education.
Reaffirmation of Faith
“Reaffirmation of the Baptismal Covenant is …
appropriate for persons who are transferring into a congregation.” (UMH, p. 32)
Reaffirmation of faith is appropriate for those who have been baptized, are members of the Church, and desire to transfer and unite with a new congregation. Reaffirmation emphasizes our response of faith as we “renew” ourselves. “We renew the covenant declared at our baptism, acknowledge what God is doing for us, and affirm our commitment to Christ’s holy church.” (UMH, p. 33)
A baptized member in good standing in any Christian tradition/denomination, who desires to unite with The United Methodist Church and a local congregation, may be received as a professing member by a proper transfer of letter from that person’s former church or by a declaration of Christian faith, and upon affirming willingness to be loyal to The United Methodist Church. (UMBOD) The sending church will be notified by the receiving church of the reception into membership.
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