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 receive new life in Christ and present their bodies to be living sacrifices to God. Eating bread and drinking wine, we receive the sustaining presence of Christ, remember God’s covenant promise, and pledge our obedience anew.
The Reformed tradition recognizes 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.
The Lord’s Supper is observed at First Presbyterian Church monthly, typically on the first Sunday of the month and is often incorporated into other occasions of special significance in the life of the church. The invitation to the Lord’s Supper is extended to all, regardless of age and denominational affiliation.
At FPC, we believe “Participation is not a right conferred upon the worthy, but a privilege given to the undeserving who come in faith, repentance, and love, Even one who has doubts or whose trust is waivering may come to the Table in order to be assured by God’s love and grace in Christ Jesus.”
(Book of Order, Presbyterian Church USA)
Baptism is the sacrament of initiation into the Christian life. The washing with water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is the sign of a person’s inclusion in the covenant of God’s people and union with the risen Christ. Baptism highlights the fundamental Presbyterian conviction that God always takes the initiative in redeeming us, that we are saved by God’s grace through faith and that neither the act of baptism nor the decision to be baptized, confer salvation. These are responses to God’s grace already given and at work in one’s life.
Baptism is a faith celebration shared by the congregation. During a Baptism, we are all reminded that we have died with Christ to the old life of sin and have been raised with Christ to a new life of freedom and service.
If you have questions regarding baptism for yourself or for your child, please call the church office (641-684-5465) to make an appointment with our Pastor. First Presbyterian welcomes the opportunity to talk with you about this important moment in the Christian life.