The “Tree of Life” at the West Entrance of the building is filling with leaves and fruit, and it is a beautiful sight to see! For those who haven’t been to the building recently, please make a point to check it out the next time you are here. Over the next three weeks, we will be adding leaves and fruit to the tree, representing the way our congregational rhythms shape us as individual members of the community.
As a reminder – the leaves are words and phrases that answer the question, “What does it mean to me to be a part of Manchester UMC?” And the fruits are words and phrases that answer the question, “What impact does the ministry of Manchester UMC have in our community?” Everyone is invited and encouraged to add a leaf and/or a fruit to the tree during the month of October.
This week we focus on the ways individuals are shaped by the rhythm of baptism. Each service will include a remembrance of baptism and a time for discipleship promise renewals.
Our baptism and membership promises include participating in the ministries of the church with our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness. These practices shape our lives in significant ways, and periodically throughout the year we pause to renew our promises.
The waters of baptism incorporate us into the Body of Christ and shape our identity as members of one another. Baptism is a means of grace, a conduit through which the Holy Spirit is made tangibly present in the life of the one being baptized. Baptism is also a communal act in which the gathered body participates and makes promises of encouragement and support.
This weekend, each worshiper will receive a “Discipleship Promise Card,” a tool that we use to make and keep track of our promises. These cards are for each of us to fill out and keep with us as a reminder of the promises we have made. In your purse, taped to your mirror, or magneted to your refrigerator – keep your card somewhere close, somewhere you will see it regularly and be reminded of your promises.
We will enter the waters of baptism this week during our worship services at Manchester UMC, and all are welcome. See you in church!