In accordance with the teaching of our Lord and practice prevailing among evangelical Christians, the United Church of Christ recognizes two sacraments: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion. – From the Preamble to the Constitution of the United Church of Christ
For in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ Jesus have clothed yourself with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. – Galatians 3:26-28
At Pilgrim we believe that the sacrament of baptism is an outward and visible sign of the grace of God. Through baptism a person is joined with the universal church, the body of Christ. In baptism, God works in us the power of forgiveness, the renewal of the spirit, and the knowledge of the call to be God’s people always.
Baptism with water and the Holy Spirit is the sign and seal of our common discipleship. Since baptism is God’s gift, the Holy Spirit is called to be upon the water and those being baptized. The act of baptism also marks the beginning of a new journey of discipleship with Christ, the human response to that gift.
At Pilgrim we use water as the essential element of baptism. Water is a prominent symbol of cleansing and life in the Bible – the water of creation, the great flood, the liberation of Israel through the sea, the water of Mary’s womb, the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, the woman at the well, and Jesus’ washing of the feet of the disciples. That is why water is visibly present in the service. At Pilgrim, we make use of the practice of sprinkling water on the one to be baptized. All are welcomed to be baptized from infants to adults and we recognize the validity of all baptisms, therefore there is no need for re-baptism.
If you are interested in receiving the sacrament of baptism at Pilgrim Church please contact our Pastor at 216-861-7388.
(Adapted from www.UCC.org website)