Adults and younger people not baptized as infants may come to Faith at any time – during the Alpha course, in a small group, a class or worship event. Our pew cards contain a “prayer of faith”* that may be offered at the communion rail with the priest or Eucharistic minister. It is important to tell or pray with someone about your decision for Christ. Often it is only when you tell someone else that your faith becomes a reality to you. This confession of faith should be followed by instruction and Holy Baptism which is the liturgical act by which a person becomes a Christian and “is received into the congregation of Christ’s flock.” If the candidate is an infant or small child, the parents should council with the priest so that the vows express their commitment to bring the child up in the knowledge and love of the Lord. It would be our joy to Baptize every Sunday, but particularly appropriate Sundays are Easter Eve, Pentecost, All Saints Day, and the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord(Book of Common Prayer p. 312) because these Sundays have propers that coincide with the baptismal theme. Baptisms at Good Shepherd are a congregational event and so private baptisms are reserved for unusual situations or for folks not intending to participate as members of our congregation.
The Holy Eucharist, the primary and central act of Christian worship since its institution by our Lord on Maundy Thursday, is the principle service on Sundays. Adults who are baptized Christians (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) from any tradition are welcome to receive Communion.
Children who are baptized members of this parish are asked to participate in the First Communion Instruction provided for those who are at least six years old, and adults who have not yet Confirmed are asked to attend Confirmation Classes and be Confirmed or “Received” into the Episcopal Church.
For those who can not attend worship on a regular basis we offer home communion either with a clergy person or Lay Eucharistic Minister. Please contact the church office if you would like to arrange a home communion.
Confirmation is the rite by which we express a mature commitment to Christ (Book of Common Prayer p.412), receive grace and strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of Hands by the Bishop, and begin a serious life of ministry and discipleship. With confirmation, one is entitled to vote at all parish meetings, and to run for election to the vestry and to serve as a delegate to Diocesan Conventions. Confirmation classes are offered annual in preparation for the bishop’s annual parish visit.