The Sacraments at University Presbyterian Church
The sacrament of baptism unites us with Jesus Christ and makes us members of God’s family
, the church. It is God's gift of grace and also his summons to respond to that grace. It is a promise of repentance, faithfulness, and discipleship. Presbyterians believe baptism is a public confession
, not a private one. It is a statement of faith made in the presence of others. Presbyterians believe sacraments in themselves do not save people or even help us to have more faith, and unbaptized people are not necessarily denied salvation.
The baptism of infants and children
witnesses to the truth that God's love claims people before they are able to respond in faith. When an infant is baptized, it is God's activity—God acts to make us his own, pledging himself to us. Furthermore, the parents and the church family commit themselves to nurture the child in faith. Baptisms for infants and children take place on scheduled Sundays during services. For more information, click here
The baptism of adults
is a one-time public profession of faith, and an act of obedience. Baptisms for adults take place twice a year as part of the membership process
. But if you have already been baptized as an infant or in another denomination, there is no need to be baptized again. Presbyterians believe that we are part of one body of Christian believers and recognize and accept all baptism with water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The effect of baptism is not tied to the moment when it is administered; it signifies the beginning of life in Christ, not its completion.
The sacrament of communion is also called the Lord's Supper, Holy Communion, or the Eucharist (from the Greek word for "grateful" or "thanksgiving"). It is a time to renew faith and strengthen participants for the duties and privileges of Christian service. In communion, the bread and wine represent the sacrificial body and blood of Christ
and recall the last meal shared with the apostles. Together they symbolize the new covenant
between God and all people. Through the presence of the Holy Spirit, the elements enable us to give thanks, remember, and anticipate God's redemptive work on our behalf. At University Presbyterian Church, you do not have to be a member to partake in communion; it is for anyone who is seeking a relationship with Jesus Christ
Communion is served semi-regularly at the morning services, usually every two months, and almost every week in the 5pm service.