In the UCC, we celebrate two sacraments: Baptism and Holy Communion. In the language of the historic church, we often say that the sacrament of baptism is “an invisible sign of an inward and invisible grace.”
The moment of baptism is a holy mystery of God’s grace. What we know for sure is that it is God's work, and God is fully present. God is extraordinarily present in ordinary water.
“When is the right time to be baptized?”
In the Congregational tradition, we baptize infants or young children. However, there is not a specific age at which you must be baptized. Adults and children can be baptized into the church. When a young child is baptized, the family makes the decision for the child. As the child matures, she is invited to confirm her faith. Around 7th grade, a child starts confirmation, a time to begin asking questions about faith and to explore scripture and history more deeply.
“Who should be at a baptism?”
Baptism is a way that God welcomes us into the church. Baptism is also an affirmation by the church community to care for and support the newly baptized. For this reason, we discourage private baptisms, except under special circumstances. We hope you will invite family, friends, and all who might support your child along the faith journey.
“What do you say at baptism?”
During a baptism we typically say, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” This is the traditional Trinitarian formula, which unites us with Christians throughout history. However, we also understand that language can limit the expanse of God. If you prefer other language for God, such as “God the Creator, Redeemer, and Spirit,” for example, please share this with a pastor.
Contact the church if you wish to arrange a date for baptism. A pastor will talk more with you about your family’s wishes, in order that your baptism can be a special day for your child, you, and the church.
All are invited to share in Holy Communion. You don’t have to be a member. You don’t even have to be baptized. We celebrate an open table, being reminded that the communion table is not ours, but is Christ’s table.
At FCC, we celebrate Communion once per month, typically on the first Sunday of the month. We remain seated when we share the elements of bread and grape juice. We serve the elements to one another as we pass the trays.
Families are invited to decide when your child is ready to receive Communion. Some families wait until the child completes Confirmation (in the 8th grade). Other families include their child at a very young age.
Feel free to contact a pastor if you wish to talk about this decision.