Sacraments are ancient practices rooted in Christ’s life as recounted in the Bible.
A sacrament is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace — a way in which we can use our human senses to comprehend God’s divine love. Sacraments also remind us of the holiness of the ordinary, mundane elements of our lives—bread, juice, water.
At Niantic Community Church, in keeping with the traditions of the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church, we celebrate two sacraments: baptism and communion (the Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper).
The model for baptism at Niantic Community Church is taken from the gospel accounts of Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River. In those stories, the heavens open up and God’s voice can be heard, saying, “You are my beloved child, with whom I am well pleased.” In baptism, we name God’s love for each of us.
In the sacrament of baptism, we recognize a covenant between God, the community, and the one being baptized. Because of the central role of the community of faith, we celebrate baptisms during our worship services and welcome the newly baptized as members of the Body of Christ. We baptize persons of all ages. When children are baptized, the family makes promises on their behalf, and we all bear witness to the grace of God that comes to us before we can even ask. When adults are baptized, they make promises themselves, and we all bear witness to faithful living in response to God’s love.
We welcome both member and non-members to be baptized at Niantic Community Church. In either case we ask that parents seeking baptism for their child or adults wishing to be baptized attend worship regularly for two months prior to the baptism service, so that you can get to know the church community that is embracing your child and you.
If you would like to speak with the pastor about baptism for yourself or your child, please contact the church office.
When we celebrate communion, we remember the last supper Christ shared with his disciples, as well as his life, death, and resurrection. We also make a bold statement about our belief in the future, in a time when God’s realm of love and justice for all will be established here on earth. Communion unites past, present, and future, bringing together faithful people in every time and place to be nourished by grace and made new by God’s love.
We believe in a radical inclusiveness where all are invited to share at the table. Following the example of Jesus, we welcome everyone—young and old, gay and straight, educated and less educated, rich and poor, believers and doubters, sinners and saints. With special awareness of the insight of John Wesley, founder of Methodism, we believe that God’s grace in communion is not only for baptized Christians, but for every person who desires the nourishment that comes from God. In keeping with our commitment to welcoming all persons, the elements we share in communion include grape juice and gluten-free bread or crackers.
We celebrate communion on the first Sunday of each month, as well as at worship on Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, and the 7:30 am service on Easter Day.