The United Church recognizes both infant and adult baptism. In addition, as part of the wider Christian community, baptisms that take place in a United Church of Christ congregation are recognized by other Christian traditions, including Catholic. A person is not baptized “UCC” or “Lutheran” or “Catholic.” We are baptized into the whole Christian church. As Paul the apostle wrote, “…one Lord, one faith, one baptism…” (Ephesians 4:5).
THE BAPTISM OF AN INFANT OR CHILD:
When parents bring a child, infant or older for baptism, they are doing a number of things. One thing which they are not doing is “fixing” the child so that she or he is somehow “right” with God by “washing away original sin.” All children are loved into life and created in the image of God – just as they are.
So what is the purpose of infant or child baptism? It is a time for:
parents, family and faith-community to give thanks for the life of the child
parents to share that their child is a gift from God -created by God, loved by God, and claimed by God - and that they need God's help and the support of the community of faith, to help their child grow in his or her life and faith.
parents to commit to their own life of faith and to offer the nurture of the faith community to their child, and promise on behalf of the child that the child will be invited to affirm at the time of Confirmation and Initiation to Adulthood (usually in middle school or early high school).
the congregation to promise to support the parents and the child, and to reaffirm their commitment to all God's children, old, young and in-between.
BAPTISM OF A YOUTH OR ADULT:
When a person comes for baptism on their own, they make the same promises a parent makes for a child. They affirm their desire to be baptized and to live into the new life that God offers. They promise to grow in their own faith, to participate in the life of the faith-community, and to be the disciple of grace, love and justice that God calls them to be.
If you are interested in baptism – either for yourself or your child – please contact Rev. Talitha Arnold for further information (505-988-3295; firstname.lastname@example.org).
What Goes Into a Wedding?
To help get you started thinking about the service – some thoughts on what makes up a wedding…
Technically, the only thing that “has” to happen (from a legal standpoint) in a wedding is for two people of consenting age to promise something to each other in the presence of an official person and two witnesses. But from the perspective of a community of faith, a wedding is a worship service and a time we remember our covenant with God and one another. Whenever we gather, we gather in covenant to remember that God is present in all times. Even if our human covenants change or end, God’s covenant is everlasting, and it is that covenant with God that makes our human covenants possible.
So what does all this have to do with a wedding service? Basically, the covenant you make in your vows – and the covenant your family and friends make with you as couple – is made in the context of God’s covenant with you, individually and as a couple. Put another way, our love for each other – your love as a couple – is rooted in the truth of God’s love for each of you and both of you. The worship service reminds us of that truth, and asks for God’s blessing of hope and strength for the covenant you make with each other. We look forward to sharing this sacred time with you!
Finally, The United Church has been a strong supporter of marriage equality for decades. We celebrate that, in the state of New Mexico, marriage is legal for all adults, and we look forward to celebrating and offering the church’s blessing to the covenant you are making.
Funerals and Memorials
During difficult times of loss, the United Church of Santa Fe offers a variety of resources. We seek to walk with you – even through the valley of the shadow of death – offering support, guidance and Christ’s love.
Our pastor and our Congregational Care Team stand ready to offer help and guidance at any stage of the journey – anticipating the end of life, at the time of death, or during a time of bereavement and grief.
Funeral services (where the body is present) and memorial services (where the body is not present) provide an opportunity to give thanks for the life of the person who has died, to offer this loved one to God’s eternal care and keeping, and to proclaim again God’s promise that death will not have the last word. These services typically include words of remembrance, pastoral words, scripture readings, prayers and hymns. Our pastor will be glad to work with you to plan a funeral or memorial service that suits your loved one. In addition to the service, and when it is safe to do so, our Parish Life Team can host a reception after the service in the church’s Community Room.
Please call the Office Administrator (505) 988-3295 for more information about funerals, memorial services, and support in times of loss and grief.