Baptism and Holy Communion

Baptism and Holy Communion are the two sacraments celebrated by the United Methodist Church.  These sacraments are actions shared in worship  that are a sign of grace,  which is God’s gift of love and forgiveness.   

Baptism can be received by a person of any age and is a channel of God’s grace. For infants and children, baptism is a reminder that God loves and claims us even before we are able to understand or claim the Christian faith for ourselves. For older children, teenagers, and adults baptism is an opportunity to be welcomed into the life of the church, accept God’s grace for ourselves as we profess our faith, and commit to following Jesus. We are excited that you are considering baptism for yourself or your child and we are eager to welcome you and your child into the Christian community.

If you are thinking about baptism, you will want to attend worship services regularly, and get involved in the other ministries of our church so that you can determine whether Fairlington is a good fit for you and your family. Baptism anticipates a lifetime of further and deeper experiences of God, and it is essential to have a church family to help you continue to grow and be nurtured in faith following baptism.   Infants become baptized members of the church.  Youth and adults become professing members.

The next step is to fill out the baptism form and email it back to us (office@fairlingtonumc.org)  or mail it to the church office (3900 King Street Alexandria, VA 22302)

Once we receive your form, one of the pastors will contact you to set up a time to meet and discuss the baptism and find a Sunday morning to have the baptism. The pastor performing the baptism will also take this time to discuss the meaning and implications of baptism, go over the baptismal vows, and answer any questions that you may have.

On the morning of the baptism families may reserve seats for extended family members and friends. Photographs may be taken during the ceremony from those sitting in the sanctuary and not participating in the baptism. Photographs may also be taken before and after the worship service in the sanctuary.

Holy Communion is open to all persons who are attending our worship.  During this sacred meal, a small piece of bread is offered to each person to dip into a cup of juice.  As we eat the bread and juice, we are reminded of Jesus’ sacrificial love for us in giving his life, his body and blood, on the cross.  Confessing our sins and receiving communion is an opportunity to experience God’s grace.  It is a holy mystery that brings us closer to God and closer to one another.  Children are welcome to participate in the service and will hear these words:  “This means that Jesus loves you.”

 

Frequently Asked Questions 
 
Q- Can we have our child baptized on any Sunday during the year?

A- The date for baptism is set in conjunction with the pastors. Due to other liturgical events not all Sundays are available for the sacrament. 

Q- At what age should a child be baptized?

A- A child can be baptized when the parent(s) can affirm the vows in our baptism ritual regarding their intentions to bring up the child under the teaching of the church.  There is no age requirement- a child can be baptized beginning at birth.  A Pastor can discuss with you about an age that works for your family.  Families who know they want their child baptized will often request the Baptism when their child is 4-6 months old.  But this is not a rule.
 
Q- If my child is sick should we have an “emergency baptism”?
A- It is not necessary to have your child baptized in such ways because they are loved by God even if they do not have the sacrament administered. Should your child be sick, please call the office and ask to speak to a pastor. If this is after normal office hours you will be instructed how to reach our pastors. 

Q-As an adult I was baptized as a child, but I now have had a religious awakening. Do I need to be baptized again?
A- No. God has not gone back on the promise made at your baptism so we don’t need to remind God again of God's everlasting love. We do have other ways to mark your re-birth of faith. 

If you have a question regarding our ministry to children,

click here:  I Have a Question

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