Who tells you who you are?
We receive our identity from others, from the expectations of friends and colleagues, from the labels society puts upon us, and from the influence of family.
To become Christian is to receive a new identity. You no longer allow others to tell you who you are. Christ now claims you and instructs you. A Christian is one who as “put on Christ.”
Baptism celebrates becoming that new person. That is why the church’s ritual begins with putting off the old, renouncing sin and the evil powers of the world, and pledging our loyalty to Christ.
God Initiates the Covenant
We also believe that in baptism God initiates a covenant with us, announced with the words, “The Holy Spirit works within you, that being born through water and the Spirit, you may be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.” This is followed by the sign-act of laying hands on the head, or the signing of the cross on the forehead with oil. The word covenant is a biblical word describing God’s initiative in choosing Israel to be a people with a special mission in the world, and Israel’s response in a life of faithfulness. The baptismal covenant calls us to a similar vocation.
God Has Chosen Us
Christians have also understood the baptismal covenant in light of Jesus’ baptism. At Jesus’ baptism, God said: “This is my son.” While Jesus’ relation to God as Son is unique, for Christians baptism means that God has also chosen us as daughters and sons, and knows us intimately as a parent.
So the most important things about us, our true identity, is that we are now sons and daughters of God. That is why the introduction to the United Methodist Baptismal Covenant states, “We are incorporated into God’s mighty acts of salvation and given new birth through water and the Spirit.”
The introduction also says, “Through the Sacrament of Baptism, we are initiated into Christ’s holy church.”
Baptism Is the Door
From the beginning, baptism has been the door through which one enters the church. It was inconceivable to many that one could respond to God’s grace by reciting the renunciations, affirming one’s faith in Christ and loyalty to the Kingdom, without joining the fellowship of those who are committed to mature in that faith. As the “Body of Christ” in the world, baptism commissions us to use our gifts to strengthen the church and to transform the world.
Why Baptize Babies?
From the earliest times, children and infants were baptized and included in the church. As scriptural authority for this ancient tradition, some scholars cite Jesus’ words, “Let the little children come to me…for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs” (Mark 10:14). However, a more consistent argument is that baptism, as a means of grace, signifies God’s initiative in the process of salvation. John Wesley preached “prevenient grace,” the grace that works in our lives before we are aware of it, bringing us to faith. The baptism of children and their inclusion in the church before they can respond with their own confirmation of faith is a vivid and compelling witness to prevenient grace.
Baptism Is Forever
Because baptism is a sacrament of God’s grace and a covenant that God has initiated, it should not be repeated. However, God’s continuing and patient forgiveness, God’s prevenient grace, will prompt us to renew the commitment first made at our baptism. At such a time, instead of rebaptism, The United Methodist Church offers the ritual for the reaffirmation of baptismal vows, which implies that, while God remains faithful to God’s half of the covenant, we are not always faithful to our promises. Our half of the covenant is to confess Christ as our Savior, trust in his grace, serve him as Lord in the church, and carry out his mission against evil, injustice, and oppression.
Baptism Is the Beginning, Not the End
You have heard people say, “I was baptized Methodist,” or “I was baptized Presbyterian,” which could mean that in baptism they got their identity papers and that was the end of it. But baptism is not the end. It is the beginning of a lifelong journey of faith. It makes no difference whether you were baptized as an adult or as a child; we all start on that journey at baptism. For the child, the journey begins in the nurturing community of the church, where he or she learns what it means that God loves you. At the appropriate time, the child will make his or her first confession of faith in the ritual the church traditionally calls confirmation. Most often, this is at adolescence or at the time when the person begins to take responsibility for his or her own decisions.
If you experienced God’s grace and were baptized as an adult or received baptism as a child and desire to reaffirm your baptismal vows, baptism still marks the beginning of a journey in the nurturing fellowship of the caring, learning, worshiping, serving congregation.
What Is a Sacrament?
The word sacrament is the Latin translation of the Greek word mysterion. From the early days of the church, baptism was associated with the mystery that surrounds God’s action in our lives. That means that at best our words can only circumscribe what happens, but not define it. We cannot rationally explain why God would love us “while we were yet sinners” and give his only begotten Son that we should not perish but have eternal life. That is the most sacred and unfathomable mystery of all. We can experience God’s grace at any time and in any place, but in the sacrament of baptism we routinely experience that amazing grace.
Like baptism, we regard Holy Communion as a
sacrament. That is, it’s an act of worship ordained by Christ and is a way experience God’s grace. This does not mean that we become any more worthy of God’s grace by taking part in Communion. Rather, we open ourselves to the divine love that’s already there; we become more ready to receive that love and to respond to it.
As with baptism, we use common, physical gifts of the earth, bread and wine—though we prefer
unfermented grape juice. All Christians are
welcome at our table, whatever their denomination Holy Communion is a family meal, and all Christians are members of Christ’s family. Therefore, in each congregation, when we receive the bread and cup, we join with millions of brothers and sisters across the ages and around the world.
Holy Communion (or the Lord’s Supper) is a mystery too deep for words. Its meaning will vary for each of us and from one time to another. But three essential meanings are caught up in this proclamation in our Communion service: “Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again” (The United Methodist Hymnal, p. 14).
“Christ has died”
In part, Communion is a time to remember Jesus’ death, his self-giving sacrifice on our behalf. As he said to the disciples at their last meal together, “Do this in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:24).
In remembering his passion and crucifixion, we remember our own guilt; for we know that in our sin we crucify Christ many times over from day to day. So the Lord’s Supper is a time of confession: “We confess that we have not loved you with our whole heart….We have not heard the cry of the needy” (The United Methodist Hymnal, p. 12).
“Christ is risen”
But Communion is not a memorial service for a dead Jesus. It’s not a time to wallow in our own guilt. It’s a time to celebrate the Resurrection, to recognize and give thanks for the Risen Christ. The bread and wine represent the living presence of Christ among us—though we do not claim, as some denominations do, that they become Christ’s body and blood.
In Luke’s Resurrection story, the Risen Christ broke bread with two of his followers at Emmaus, “then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him” (24:31). So, as we’re nourished by this meal, our eyes are opened; and we recognize Christ here in our congregation, our community, and our world. What’s our response? Thanksgiving! In fact, another of our words for Communion, the Eucharist, means thanksgiving.
“Christ will come again”
In Communion we also celebrate the final victory of Christ. We anticipate God’s coming reign, God’s future for this world and all creation. As Jesus said, “I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:29).
We believe that we’re partners with God in creating this future, but the demands of discipleship are rigorous. In the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper, in the fellowship of Christian friends gathered at his table, we find the nourishment we need for the tasks of discipleship ahead.
When Two Become One.
USE OF CHURCH:
The first step to having your wedding ceremony at Redeemer should be to contact the church office at 614- 861-7160 to discuss the wedding date and fees.
Remember that the wedding date will be secured on the church calendar upon receiving the non-refundable deposit of $225.
If you are unfamiliar with the Sanctuary at Church of the Redeemer, you are invited to stop by to look at the facilities or to visit a worship service.
Please note: THERE IS TO BE NO ALCOHOL USED BY ANY MEMBER OF THE WEDDING PARTY OR GUESTS ANYWHERE ON THE CHURCH PROPERTY. THERE IS NO SMOKING IN THE CHURCH OR WITHIN 20 FEET OF CHURCH. If there is any church property broken or damaged, it should be reported to the minister, wedding coordinator, or the church secretary immediately.
Building Use $0
Pastor Honorarium $150
Building Use $500
Pastor Honorarium $150
You may use candlesticks that are normally on the altar table. We also have available two (2) white candelabra that holds seven candles each. If a unity candle is desired, it is the responsibility of the bride to provide the candle. The church does provide a gold unity candle holder that allows for a 3 inch pillar candle in the center then two taper candles on each side.
Remember that if using pew candles, they must be secure and candles must be protected with a glass globe. Any ribbons should be kept away from open flames.
FLOWERS AND DECORATIONS:
The arranging and placing of flowers and decorations in the church and narthex must be carefully done. Decorations should be beautiful but simple. The altar cross, vases, candlesticks, and candelabra are to be handed with great care. These accessories should be handled by our wedding coordinator or minister. Florists should have the flowers at the church at least three hours prior to the wedding ceremony.
Fire laws prohibit open flame.
Pew candles must be protected by glass globes or chimneys. Properties belonging to the florist shall be removed immediately following the ceremony.
If flower arrangements are being left at the church to be placed on the altar for the following Sunday service, please inform the church secretary at least one week in advance of the ceremony.
You may attach bows, ribbons, or floral arrangements to the sanctuary chairs by using a large floral or dress pin. The kneeling bench, if used, is to be left unadorned.
Redeemer does not allow our bulletin boards, pictures, crosses, etc. to be covered.
It is preferred that our church organist be used for the wedding ceremony; however, if you desire to use your own organist, the bride/groom and organist must consult with the Redeemer organist.
The music you select for your ceremony should add to the religious atmosphere of your service. Music suggestions can be made with the organist and the officiating minister, keeping in mind a wedding is a sacred ceremony. The music and worship staff reserves the right to disallow any music deemed inappropriate for this holy service.
If you plan to have a vocal soloist before, during, or after the ceremony, the minister or organist will be happy to help you select the proper time for a song or songs to be inserted in the ceremony.
A wide range of audio facilities are available. Microphone capability includes fixed microphones at the lectern and podium,; three channels of stand and boom microphones for readers or vocalists; two channels of lavaliere wireless microphones; and one wireless hand-held microphone.
A common set-up uses a lavaliere on the minister, the lectern microphone for readers, and stand microphones for vocalists. A stage monitor is available for vocalist accompaniment.
For pre-recorded music, we can handle a conventional CD. Computer (PC format) playback formats include WA V, MP3, WMA on CD's or CF cards. If pre-recorded media is used, it needs to be submitted to our audio technician one week before the wedding and will be available at the rehearsal for verification of cues and levels.
If desired an audio CD can be made of the service. It is the responsibility of the bridal couple to consult with the church audio technician well in advance of the wedding.
Our audio technician DOES NOT provide the services of a video recording of the ceremony.
The wedding ceremony is a worship service. We ask your cooperation and the cooperation of your photographer in making it a sacred occasion consistent with the religious character of holy matrimony.
A picture may be taken as the bride and her escort enters the sanctuary and one as the bride and groom recess. Please instruct your photographer and wedding participants that NO FLASH PICTURES are to be taken during the ceremony. Videotaping may be used during the ceremony in a way not to disturb the guests and wedding participants. This will insure that the wedding party and guests focus their attentions on the service rather than on those trying to record the ceremony.
Wedding pictures may be taken before and after the ceremony as desired. For pictures taken after the ceremony, it is suggested that the bride and groom plan for pictures to be taken while guests are on their way to the reception.
We want the photographer to understand that these guidelines are necessary to assure the dignity and sanctity of the wedding ceremony. Please be sure you discuss these guidelines with the photographer.
POST WEDDING CELEBRATION:
As the bride and groom leave the church, it is traditional to send them off with good wishes. These come in the form of flower petals, bubbles, balloons, or birdseed. We ask that there be NO throwing or dispensing of any kind INSIDE the church building. In the case of birdseed or balloons, we ask that they be used only in moderation, for environmental reasons. Flower petals are a beautiful and natural alternative to consider. RICE IS NOT ALLOWED.
Naturally, any couple desiring to be married must secure a wedding license at the probate court. Licenses must be secured in the county where either the bride or groom reside. For couples getting a license in Franklin County, the probate court is located at 373 South High Street, 23rd Floor, Columbus. Their phone number is 463-3898. Blood tests or physical exam are not requested to apply for a marriage license; however, the couple will need picture ID's.
Cost of the marriage license is $ 40 -- CASH ONLY. The license is good for 60 days. You will need to present pictures ID's. Final decrees of divorces or death certificates (in the case of the death of a spouse) are needed. Couples must apply in person. The bridal couple should give the Marriage Licenses to the minister at the wedding rehearsal. After the minister signs the document, Church of the Redeemer will return the license, by mail, to Probate Court.
The Sanctuary is furnished with upholstered chairs and seats approximately 170 people. Chairs may be slightly arranged to accommodate a center aisle and will be moved by the Church custodian. It is possible to allow for additional seating in the Narthex by opening the sliding glass doors and arranging several rows of additional chairs.
A wedding service is a religious ceremony and the minister of this church is trained and informed as to what is permitted and appropriate. The minister will certainly seek to plan and carry out the wedding so it meets the wishes of the bride and groom. The rehearsal date and time should be scheduled at the time the wedding date is secured and will most likely happen on a Friday evening. The minister, audio technician, and wedding coordinator will represent the Church at the rehearsal.
It is important for the following people to attend the rehearsal: bride, groom, best man, groomsmen, maid or matron of honor, bridal attendants, ushers, bridesmaids, ring bearer, flower girl, parents of both the bride and groom.
The rehearsal should be completed in approximately 1 1/2 hours.
The bridal couple should bring the Marriage License to the rehearsal to be given to the minister. After signing, the minister will mail the Marriage License.
Holy matrimony is an honorable estate; instituted of God… it is therefore not to be entered into unadvisedly, but reverently, discreetly, and in the fear of God. To insure adequate preparation for marriage, the church requires two to four counseling sessions to be held with the minister and the prospective couple. Arrangements must be made directly with the minister for these appointments.