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People may join the Body of Christ through their baptism. Baptism is one of two sacraments of the United Methodist Church (the other is Holy Communion). Sacraments are outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual means of grace. Baptism is initiation into the family of God, cleansing from sin, a sign of new birth as children of God, and empowerment by the Holy Spirit for mission in the world. Our doctrinal standards include this affirmation: “We believe Baptism signifies entrance into the household of faith, and is a symbol of repentance and inner cleansing from sin, a representation of the new birth in Christ Jesus and a mark of Christian discipleship.”


Baptism is the means by which we are marked as sons and daughters of God and incorporated into the household of God. It is a declaration of God’s imitative in claiming and redeeming us. Baptism celebrates what God has done, is doing, and shall do on our behalf. It is entrance into Christ’s community, the Church, therefore, the community shares in covenant with each baptized person.


Since baptism represents God’s initiative in claiming, redeeming, and incorporating us into the Christian community, rebaptism, and private baptisms are inappropriate. We believe children are under the atonement of Christ and as heirs of the Kingdom of God are acceptable subjects for Christian baptism.


United Methodists baptize infants and persons of all ages. The baptism of infants is not to be confused with “Christening,” the giving of a name, or a “dedication” by the parents. Infant baptism means the same as adult baptism. In all baptisms the community -the church- promises to nurture and support the baptized in living their God-given identity.

The United Methodists consider three modes of baptism equally valid:
1. Sprinkling, 2. Pouring, 3. Immersion.
Those interested in being baptized should contact Pastor Ruth to have an individual session to discuss both the condition of the person’s soul and to select the date and worship service in which the person will be baptized. Young Children and infants and those unable to speak for themselves are baptized (receiving the outpouring of water) themselves and have their parents answer the vows/questions on their behalf. Godparents are allowed in the United Methodist Church, and make a commitment to support the person in their spiritual development along with the parents.


At usually 7th or 8th grade a youth may participate in a Confirmation Class with others of similar ages the end goal of which is for the youth to make a decision if they are ready to join the church or not.

The class includes such aspects as completing readings and discussions regarding spiritual, worship, participation, mission and outreach, and a review of the vows. The classes usually meet 1-2 times per month, for 6-9 months, where students discuss the topics in the curriculum. They visit other church services, complete acts of service and outreach and missions, raise money through 1-2 projects, and visit the administrative council to understand the business of the church.


The youth may have been attending church over a period of time or may be a fairly new attendee; may or may not have been baptized; and should be prepared to make a decision on their own if they are ready to join the church by the completion of the classes. Others may join the church at any time, usually after a minimum of 1-2 sessions with the pastor where they receive some written information and affirm their decision to become a member of the church.

Unlike baptism, church membership is to a specific church and a specific denomination. A person must be baptized before joining the church, when this happens in the same worship service as their joining of the church, the person joins the church by a Confession of Faith.


A person may also join this church by transferring from another United Methodist Church to this church, usually with just one consulting visit with the pastor. If the person is transferring from a denomination other than United Methodist there will most likely be more than 2 meetings to assure that the individual understand the differences between the churches. In all of these cases the starting point is for the individual to contact the pastor to discuss the possibility of joining the church. Church membership vows include a vow to be loyal to the United Methodist Church, and uphold it by your prayers, your presence, your gifts and your service. Membership initiation takes place within the context of the worship service, where the new member publicly affirms their vows and is welcomed by the congregation with a commitment

Start your journey to become a member of Pandora UMC

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