BAPTISM & EUCHARIST
BAPTISM & EUCHARIST
Christian worship is sacramental. God’s grace touches the depths of our humanity. He delights in drawing near to us through the textures of his creation – water and oil, bread and wine.
At the Lord’s initiation, we are immersed in the life of Christ (Baptism) and continually nourished by his self-giving love (Eucharist).
Baptism is an initiation – The Holy Spirit lovingly draws people into the life of Christ and his Church. Baptism is the sign and seal of this saving reality. It is at once deeply personal and deeply communal.
Baptism is a vocation – Baptism is like an ordination service – it anoints and empowers people to participate in God’s mission in the world. Personal aspirations and vocations are reframed in the kingdom of God, refined by the Holy Spirit, and renewed as worship unto God.
Baptism is for everyone -Infants, children, and adults are all invited to enter the kingdom of God. In the case of infants and young children, we affirm that God’s grace surrounds the child through the community of faith, whose calling is to share the good news until the child learns to treasure it as their own. In this way the promise of the gospel is fulfilled: “We love because God loved us first.”
Eucharist as the central act of worship – With feet planted firmly on earth, we participate in the realities of heaven. Who Jesus is and the spiritual blessings of what he has done for us become present to us in a unique way. We are lifted up by the Spirit into Jesus’ communion with the Father.
Eucharist as unity with Christ and his Church – The Eucharist enacts and strengthens unity – our unity with Christ and our unity as one body in the local and universal Church. Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. We learn to see and appreciate one another in the presence of Christ.
Eucharist as thanksgiving that leads to self-giving – Eucharist means “thanksgiving”. Thanksgiving is central to becoming the kind of person who is patient with your own spiritual growth, long-suffering with those in your community, and servant-hearted within the pain of our world.