Baptism is one of two sacraments recognized and practiced by the United Church of Christ and Fauntleroy Church.
What is the Meaning of the Sacrament?
The word sacrament means a holy act. That is to say it is something we do. We call it sacred because it is, along with communion, one of the two religious rites that Christ in the Bible commanded us as his followers to do. Traditionally, we have said that it is "an outward and physical sign of an inward and spiritual grace."
Like a prism, the act of baptism has several aspects of meaning. It is an identity rite. That is, it identifies each one as a child of God and not simply a biological accident. Second, it is an initiation rite into the church, the Body of Christ. As a part of the rite, the Congregation receives the child/person into our community. Third, it is a commitment ceremony. If the person is a child, then parents make the commitment to rear the child to know Christ and his love for all people. If it is an adult being baptized, then he or she makes the public commitment to be a faithful follower of Christ. Fourth, the rite is a blessing. With water and prayer, we acknowledge that the person is a gift to us and loved forever by the God who created her or him.
How do you baptize people at Fauntleroy Church?
Typically, we "sprinkle." That is, we do not immerse the whole body into a pool or lake. The minister dips her or his hand in the water and says, "I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit." Some clergy use other titles to identify the aspects of the trinity.
Do I need to be a member to have my child baptized?
No, but it is important to feel comfortable with the church, the community of faith where you have your child baptized. Part of your commitment at baptism is to rear your child in the Christian faith, and that is done best in relationship with a local congregation.
What do I need to do to have my child baptized or to become baptized?
Call the church office and meet with our pastor.
Confirmation is the rite in which young adults confirm the vows their parent made for them at baptism. It is a part of churches that practice infant baptism. In that sacrament, parents make promises of their own personal faith and for their child. When the child is old enough to make his or her own decisions, he or she engages in a period of special instruction. If they decide to be a follower of Christ, they make their own profession of faith.
The rite itself is quite simple. Typically, a group of young people is confirmed together. The group comes to the front of the sanctuary and answer questions about their faith. They say together, with the Congregation, the church's covenant. Then they kneel. Their parents and other adults, along with the clergy, place their hands on them, and a prayer of consecration is said.
In many ways, it is like an initiation into adulthood. Typically (though not necessarily), the person joins the Fauntleroy Church at this time. They are afforded all of the rights and privileges of church membership, and are accepted into the community of faith as adult members.
How long is the instruction?
Instruction varies depending on the availability of time. In recent years, we have had programs covering two years and others which lasted about eight weeks.
Who can come?
The focus of the program is young people in seventh and eighth grades, but we are open to others, especially those who are older. Parents do not need to be members.
If you take the class, do you have to join?
The point of the confirmation is that it is a choice, and not a mandate of parents or pastors. Part of the class will be to help the students discern their own choice. Typically, at least one or two students in each group end up choosing not to be confirmed.
What if you have never been baptized?
This happens regularly. If someone is not baptized prior to the instruction, they are baptized as part of the confirmation rite.
When someone you love dies, we believe it is important to have a time to mourn your loss, remember his or her life, and offer his or her life and all of our lives into God's eternal care and keeping. Fauntleroy Church is a meaningful place to hold such a memorial service for non-members as well for members of our church.
Please contact our Office Manager Jackie Gould at (206) 932-5600 to begin to make arrangements.
Rev. Leah Bilinski, our Senior Pastor, meets with the family, listens to the story of the deceased's life and puts together appropriate scriptures readings, reflections, and prayers. Personal storytelling and remembrances can be part of the service.
Our Music Director, Bronwyn Edwards, has a wide repertoire of musical knowledge to provide music appropriate for the occasion, using the piano and/or organ. Soloists can be arranged.
Many families like to have a less formal time to meet friends and reunite with family following the worship service. Our Fellowship Hall provides a place where you can meet, eat, and perhaps look over some photographs of the one whose life you are celebrating. If you and your family wish to have such a reception, Jackie will connect you to a member of our Fellowship Committee to arrange the details. We supply coffee, tea, punch, tables, chairs, and table clothes. If you wish to have more substantial refreshment, we can connect you to local caterers to serve your needs.
Families often provide their own program for the service, or you can work with Jackie to have the church produce it.
Fees are based on the type of services you choose.