Wedding & Baptisms

Weddings at Marion Methodist Church

The Ministers and Staff of our church are interested in your wedding because we believe that a Christian wedding is a covenant making ceremony in which the Bride and Groom not only declare their love for one another, but affirm their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives and of their marriage.

Pastor Mike Morgan, our Marriage Ministry team, and the staff here at the church are dedicated to assisting you in pre-marital counseling and in the planning and carrying out of your wedding. This is all part of the larger family ministry, which is so important to us here at Marion Methodist Church.

Baptisms

We are happy to do baptisms at any one of our Sunday services.  To schedule a baptism contact Karen Schmitz at kschmitz@marionmethodist.org or call the church office at (319) 377-4856.

Baptism 101 – For parents of infants and children
We are happy to do baptisms at any one of our Sunday services.    
To schedule a baptism contact Karen Schmitz at  kschmitz@marionmethodist.org or call the church office at (319) 377-4856.

What does The United Methodist Church believe about baptism? 
Baptism is one of the two sacraments recognized by The United Methodist Church (the other being Communion).  In a sacrament, God uses common elements — in this case, water — as means or vehicles of divine grace. Baptism is administered by the church as the Body of Christ. It is the act of God through the grace of Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit. It is a symbol of rebirth and repentance by one who has accepted Christ and has repented of their sins.The Origin of Baptism 
The most famous occurrence of baptism in the Bible is no doubt the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist.  John baptized people to allow them to show that they had repented.  So if Jesus was perfect, why did he need to be baptized?  Jesus was baptized to sanctify baptism and show how important it should be to us. The New Testament contains numerous examples of individuals and even entire families (Cornelius, Crispus, Lydia, the Philippian jailer, Stephanas) being baptized.       

Baptism Through the Centuries

We don’t have detailed records of baptism in those first few centuries, but we do know that it was being practiced.  In His Great Commission, Christ says to go and baptize all people. (Matt. 28:18-20).  As the church became organized, Christians made a practice of baptizing their infants.  The Council of Carthage (254 AD) stated that “We ought not hinder any person from Baptism and the grace of God….. especially infants. . . those newly born.”  Origen wrote “Infants are to be baptized for the remission of sins.  And Cyprien wrote that baptism should be performed as soon as a child is born. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement continued infant baptism and this practice continues today. 

Baptism Today  
In The United Methodist Church, a person can be baptized either by sprinkling (most common and nearly 100% of all baptisms at Marion First United Methodist employ the practice of sprinkling), pouring, or immersion (least common).  It also accepts baptisms of other Christian denominations; so if you join from another church you do not to baptized again (unless the Church you come from is the Mormon Church).

Isn’t it better to wait until children can decide for themselves whether or not to be baptized? 
No. We no more wait for our children to decide about being in the family of God than we wait for them to decide if they would like to be a part of our human family. As parents, we make many decisions — in matters of health, safety, education, for example — for our children. Of course, they may later reject what we have done for them. But, this possibility does not relieve us of the responsibility to do all that we can for them spiritually, as we do in other aspects of their lives. 

What’s the difference between infant baptism and believer’s baptism? 
In infant baptism, God claims the child with divine grace. Clearly the child can do nothing to save himself or herself, but is totally dependent on God’s grace, as we all are — whatever our age. In believer’s baptism, the person being baptized is publicly professing her or his own decision to accept Christ. Believer’s baptism is an ordinance, not a sacrament. United Methodists baptize people of all ages who have not previously received the sacrament. Even when the people being baptized are believing adults and are ready to profess their faith, our emphasis is upon the gracious action of God rather than upon the individual’s decision. 

Does baptism mean that I am saved? 
No, salvation is a lifelong process during which we must continue to respond to God’s grace. Baptism offers the promise that the Holy Spirit will always be working in our lives, but salvation requires our acceptance of that grace, trust in Christ, and ongoing growth in holiness as long as we live. The United Methodist Church offers Sunday School, Confirmation, Vacation Bible School weekday programs and camping ministries to assist parents in teaching children of God’s love and their need to respond.

Do I have to choose godparents when I have my child baptized? 
Parents may choose a person or persons to serve as a godparent, however godparents are not required in The United Methodist Church.  The United Methodist Book of Discipline does use the term “godparent” along with the word “sponsor” and does so because in different regions and different churches one or the other of the terms is familiar and comfortable.  Both derive from the ancient practice of the church of a mature, reliable Christian serving as a mentor and encourager of persons coming into the Christian life in baptism, whether adult or child. In all infant baptisms, the parents or other family member serve as the primary sponsor, and in many churches another Christian or two are named as “godparents”–sponsors and encouragers for the child.  In the case of adults, the sponsor walks with the person on a journey of conversion, until the day they are baptized–perhaps weeks or months after having learned and experienced the way Christians live and think. When it is a child or infant, the sponsor/godparent and the parents walk with the child on a journey of conversion until they claim the way of Christ as his or her own at confirmation or some other profession of faith.

What happens at the baptism service? 
The pastor will call the parents and sponsors or Godparents (if applicable) to the front of the church. The parents with child and sponsors/Godparents will stand beside the pastor facing the congregation. The pastor will give the examination of faith to the parents, sponsors/Godparents who will answer on the child’s behalf. After the examination, the pastor will take the child and baptize him/her and then present the child to the congregation and then return him/her to the parents. Parents will be given the Certificate of Baptism and other symbols by the pastor or acolyte and then can return to their seat.

Baptism 101 – For adults seeking baptism

We are happy to do baptisms at any one of our Sunday services.    
To schedule a baptism contact Karen Schmitz at kschmitz@marionmethodist.org or call the church office at (319) 377-4856.

What does The United Methodist Church believe about baptism? 
Baptism is one of the two sacraments recognized by The United Methodist Church (the other being Communion).  In a sacrament, God uses common elements — in this case, water — as means or vehicles of divine grace. Baptism is administered by the church as the Body of Christ. It is the act of God through the grace of Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit. It is a symbol of rebirth and repentance by one who has accepted Christ and has repented of their sins.

The Origin of Baptism 
The most famous occurrence of baptism in the Bible is no doubt the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist.  John baptized people to allow them to show that they had repented.  So if Jesus was perfect, why did he need to be baptized?  Jesus was baptized to sanctify baptism and show how important it should be to us. The New Testament contains numerous examples of individuals and even entire families (Cornelius, Crispus, Lydia, the Philippian jailer, Stephanas) being baptized.   
    
Baptism Through the Centuries 
We don’t have detailed records of baptism in those first few centuries, but we do know that it was being practiced.  In His Great Commission, Christ says to go and baptize all people. (Matt. 28:18-20).  As the church became organized, Christians made a practice of baptizing their infants along with adults.  The Council of Carthage (254 AD) stated that “We ought not hinder any person from Baptism and the grace of God….. especially infants. . . those newly born.”  Origen wrote “Infants are to be baptized for the remission of sins.  And Cyprien wrote that baptism should be performed as soon as a child is born. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement continued infant and believers baptism through today. 
Baptism Today  
In The United Methodist Church, a person can be baptized either by sprinkling (most common and nearly 100% of all baptisms at Marion First United Methodist employ the practice of sprinkling), pouring, or immersion (dunking).  It also accepts baptisms of other Christian denominations; so if you join from another church you do not to be baptized again (unless the Church you come from is the Mormon Church).
What is believer’s baptism? 
In believer’s baptism, the person being baptized is publicly professing her or his own decision to accept Christ. Believer’s baptism is an ordinance, not a sacrament. United Methodists baptize people of all ages who have not previously received the sacrament. Even when the people being baptized are believing adults and are ready to profess their faith, our emphasis is upon the gracious action of God rather than upon the individual’s decision. 
Does baptism mean that I am saved? 
No, salvation is a lifelong process during which we must continue to respond to God’s grace. Baptism offers the promise that the Holy Spirit will always be working in our lives, but salvation requires our acceptance of that grace, trust in Christ, and ongoing growth in holiness as long as we live. Baptism is a milepost, not a destination.

Do I have to be baptized in order to be saved?
No, but baptism is a gift of God’s grace to be received as part of the journey of salvation. To refuse to accept baptism is to reject one of the means of grace that God offers us.

Is it required that I take vows in front of a congregation to become a member?
Yes, The United Methodist Church does expect that people who seek to unite with The United Methodist Church will profess their faith before the congregation. Membership is a relationship with other Christians who are United Methodists. Sometimes we think of membership as having one’s name on the roll of the church. The United Methodist Church does have membership rolls, but the roll is simply a listing of those who have committed themselves to relationship with one another for the sake of the ministry and mission of Jesus Christ and for mutual oversight and care. This understanding should be clear from the citations given below: 
Paragraph 217 in the 2004 Book of Discipline reads: 
When persons unite as professing members with a local United Methodist church, they profess their faith in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; in Jesus Christ his only Son, and in the Holy Spirit. Thus, they make known their desire to live their daily lives as disciples of Jesus Christ. They covenant together with God and with the members of the local church to keep the vows which are a part of the order of confirmation and reception into the Church….(From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church — 2004. Copyright © 2004 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.)
Further, Paragraph 219 on “Mutual Responsibility” emphasizes the covenantal and relational nature of membership and discipleship:
Faithful discipleship includes the obligation to participate in the corporate life of the congregation with fellow members of the body of Christ. A member is bound in sacred covenant to shoulder the burdens, share the risks, and celebrate the joys of fellow members. A Christian is called to speak the truth in love, always ready to confront conflict in the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation.

(From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church — 2004. Copyright © 2004 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.)
What happens at the baptism service? The pastor will call you (possibly with your membership class) to the front of the church. You will face the pastor who will give the examination of faith. After the examination, the pastor will ask you to kneel and then s/he will sprinkle a small amount of water and baptize you in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Then you will be presented to a grateful congregation (possibly with your membership class) and then be given the Certificate of Baptism by the pastor or acolyte after which you can return to your seat.