Baptisms/Weddings

Baptisms

We perform baptisms for members of our congregation as well as members of other churches and the general public who are a reasonable driving distance from the church.

Baptism is a wonderful celebration of the gift of life that God gives us all and a recognition of the important calling of Christian parenting. We have all kinds of resources to help a parent raise a spiritual child.   Here is a link which explains some of the meanings of baptism from the Congregational-United Church of Christ faith tradition, http://www.ucc.org/worship_baptism

Teaching a child about spiritual principles and having them involved in a faith community is critical in raising a healthy child and eventually a well adjusted adult.  Studies by major universities, like Columbia University, have come out recently that show the importance of a spiritual foundation for children. The studies have found that raising a spiritual child leads to such positive outcomes as less rates of depression and drug abuse among children. Here is a link to a brief book review on a best selling book on this topic,
http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/book-reviews/view/27974/the-spiritual-child

We do both public and private baptisms. The public baptism is held during the 9:30 am worship service and is ten minutes in length, has more elements to it which involve music, giving flowers to the godparents, parents and baby, giving a children’s Bible to the child, being presented with a baptismal certificate, and more involvement of the godparents, family and the congregation in the service. The public baptism is for those who are committed to being actively involved in the church community and raising their child in the Christian faith. Many parents find the public baptism to be a very moving and beautiful service.  Public baptism are scheduled throughout the year. You are invited to
come and see what a public baptism service looks like.

The private baptism is five minutes in length, involves just a prayer and the act of baptism and a baptismal certificate is given to the parents.

We ask for a $300 donation to the church for both public and private baptisms for those who are not financially supporting members or guests of the church. This donation helps cover some of the administrative, staff, and building costs involved with a baptism. For private baptisms there is a $100 honorarium fee for Rev. Eric because of the added time
involved in doing a private baptism. For public baptisms there is no honorarium fee. Private baptisms are held just at 11 am on Sunday.

To schedule a baptism email Rev Eric, reveric@fcchanover.org, with some possible dates and he will check the church calendar to see what is available. Once a baptism date is scheduled, parents are required to meet with him and/or a representative from the
church so the baptism ritual can be explained, the parents can be introduced to some wonderful resources to help them in raising a spiritual child, and the baby can become comfortable with the pastor. This meeting is no longer than 45 minutes. This meeting makes a huge difference in putting the baby at ease for the upcoming baptism. This
meeting can occur at the pastor’s office or at your home. Some parents prefer a home visit on a weekday evening so the baby can go to bed earlier.  Just let Rev. Eric know what works best for you. We look forward to meeting you and your child.

Marriages 

We conduct weddings for members of our congregation as well as any other couple who wish to join in holy matrimony.  We do not discriminate because of religion, color, sexual orientation, or for any other reason.  To find out more about having a wedding at the church read our wedding guidelines.