The early Church, following Jesus, took three primary material elements of life — water, bread, and wine — to become basic symbols of offering life to God as Jesus had offered his life. Being washed with the water of Baptism, Christians received new life in Christ and presented their bodies to be living sacrifices to God. Eating bread and drinking wine they received the sustaining presence of Christ, remembered God’s covenant promise, and pledged their obedience anew.
The Reformed tradition understands Baptism and the Lord’s Supper to be Sacraments, instituted by God and commended by Christ. Sacraments are signs of the real presence and power of Christ in the Church, symbols of God’s action. Through the Sacraments, God seals believers in redemption, renews their identity as the people of God, and marks them for service.
In Baptism, we participate in Jesus’ death and resurrection.We die to what separates us from God and are raised to newness of life in Christ. Baptism points us back to the grace of God expressed in Jesus Christ who died for us and who was raised for us. Baptism points us forward to that same Christ who will fulfill God’s purpose in God’s promised future.
Both believers and their children are included in God’s covenant love. Baptism, whether administered to those who profess their faith or to those presented for Baptism as infants or children, is one and the same Sacrament.
The Baptism of children witnesses to the truth that God’s love claims people before they are able to respond in faith. In infant baptism we visibly proclaim the central tenet of our Reformed faith: God’s grace towards humanity.
The Baptism of those who enter the covenant upon their own profession of faith witnesses to the truth that God’s gift of grace calls for fulfillment in a response of faithfulness.
If you are interested in being baptized, please contact the Pastor.
The Lord’s Supper is the sign and seal of eating and drinking in communion with the crucified and risen Lord. During his earthly ministry, Jesus shared meals with his followers as a sign of community and acceptance and as an occasion for his own ministry. He celebrated Israel’s feasts of covenant commemoration.
In the Lord’s Supper, the Church, gathered for worship:
Around the Table of the Lord, God’s people are in communion with Christ and with all who belong to Christ. Reconciliation with Christ compels reconciliation with one another.
All the baptized faithful are to be welcomed to the Table, and none shall be excluded because of race, sex, age, economic status, social class, handicapping condition, difference of culture or language, or any barrier created by human injustice.
Hope Church celebrates The Lord's Supper during the Worship service on the first Sunday of each month. In addition, we observe The Lord's Supper on Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, and Christmas Eve.