The Church is a vital part in many events over the course of one’s life. This page lists some of those events including Baptism, first Communion, Confirmation, marriage and funerals. Click the tabs below to learn more.
Baptism at St. John’s
“You are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christ’s own for ever. Amen.” (BCP p. 308)
Baptism is the sacramental rite – a sign of God’s grace – that welcomes a person of any age into the household of God. The parish community promises to support the newly baptized in her life in Christ, just as Sponsors (usually parents and godparents) also make vows to raise the baptized child in the life of God’s Church. These vows are to be taken thoughtfully and seriously; fulfilling them is one way that parents can deepen their own faith.
Our hope is that you will begin your journey into God’s family by worshipping with us at least twice a month, if you aren’t already an active member in a worshipping community. Baptismal preparation classes happen in-person and by Zoom to help ready Sponsors and, for older children and adults, the one being baptized for their life with Christ.
The service of Baptism happens as part of our main Sunday worship. These are the FEAST DAYS when Baptism is celebrated: the Baptism of Jesus (early January), Easter (Spring), Pentecost (early June), Transfiguration (late Summer), and All Saints Day (first weekend of November). However, most Sundays are great days to welcome the newly baptized into the Body of Christ (exception: baptisms do not occur during Advent in December or the season of Lent, the six Sundays before Easter).
If you are interested in meeting with Rev. Jill to discuss baptism, please fill out this form.
First Communion at St. John’s
All are welcome to receive Communion at God’s Table in your journey to experience God more fully in your life.
Your baptism brings you to God’s Table: in the early Church, newly baptized Christians received their first Communion on the day of their baptism. Our practice at St. John’s mirrors this ancient custom.
Many parents want their children to understand more fully the sacred rite and prayers that occur over the bread and wine which in the mystery of God becomes the Body and Blood of Christ. That instruction comes from bringing children regularly to worship. At St. John’s, children worship with their parents, hearing the Eucharistic Prayers and participating in the liturgy.
There is no “right” or “wrong” age to receive Communion. The decision for a “first” Communion can be made by the parents in conversation with Rev. Jill.
Confirmation at St. John’s
“Strengthen, O Lord, your servants with your Holy Spirit; empower them for your service; and sustain them all the days of their life. Amen.”
Most people of faith are baptized when they are very young – infants or toddlers – and so parents and godparents make vows on behalf of the child that they will be raised in the Christian faith. At Confirmation, youth and adults make their own vows to follow the life of Christ, professing a mature commitment to their faith. Confirmation is a sacramental action of the Bishop, blessing the proclaimed faith of the believer. At St. John’s, youth are generally confirmed around the age of 13-14 after completing the Confirmation classes taught by Rev. Jill.
Many adults also want to commit themselves to following Christ through The Episcopal Church. For those adults who have been baptized, the rite of Confirmation is the appropriate liturgy for their proclamation. We do, however, recognize the Confirmation of other Christian denominations; if you were confirmed by another tradition (Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, ELCA-Lutheran) then you would be Received.
If you would like to be Confirmed or Received into the life of The Episcopal Church, please speak with Rev. Jill.
Christian Marriage at St. John’s
“The union of two persons in heart, body, and mind is intended by God for their mutual joy and for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity…”
A wedding is a festive day full of happiness and laughter; a marriage is the relationship of commitment between two people in the presence of God and supported by a community of faith. At St. John’s, we will joyously celebrate your wedding and we’ll also help prepare you for the lifelong commitment of marriage. Engaged couples will meet with Rev. Jill for a minimum of three pre-marital preparation sessions. Here is the ceremony planning worksheet if you’d like to get a head start.
1. Who can be married at St. John’s?
St. John’s is a welcoming, inclusive parish and we bless the sanctity of same-gendered and straight couples. To be married in the Episcopal Church at least one person of the couple must be baptized and practicing their Christian faith. Active members of St. John’s who attend worship and contribute to parish life should contact Rev. Jill to begin planning for their marriage; children and grandchildren of active members are included in this category.
If you are not an active member of this parish, you may be considered for marriage at St. John’s provided that at least one person is baptized and practicing their Christian faith. The best way to get to know St. John’s and Rev. Jill is to attend our Sunday morning worship.
2. I’m divorced; can I still be married at St. John’s?
Yes. The Episcopal Church allows for the marriage of a divorced person. After meeting with Rev. Jill, she will apply to the Bishop for his consent. This is a process that can take several weeks to months so be sure to account for this time in your planning.
3. Why is pre-marital preparation required?
Episcopal Church canons required clergy to ensure that “both parties have been instructed as to the nature, meaning and purpose of Holy Matrimony.” This involves three to four one-hour sessions which covers, among other topics, theology of marriage, relationship examination, and specific arrangements for the liturgy. You may meet with Rev. Jill or do the preparation with a licensed couples therapist who certifies the counseling has been completed.
5. How many people can attend the ceremony?
The first floor of our church holds 110; our upper balcony can accommodate an additional 35 guests.
6. Can my photographer take photos of the ceremony?
Photography during the liturgy must be approved by the clergy, must be unobtrusive, without a flash during the liturgy and without sound if possible. Our balcony makes a great location for a photographer.
7. Can the ceremony be recorded? Can the ceremony be live-streamed?
Yes, our Tech Team can record the ceremony onto a flash drive (provided by you). The ceremony can also be live-streamed. There is an additional fee for our Tech Team.
8. Are there any times of the year that a wedding ceremony cannot happen?
Yes. The Episcopal Church has one season of the year that is penitential and when certain celebratory liturgies are restricted: marriages do not take place during the six weeks of Lent which falls some time between mid-February to mid-April. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the clergy.
9. Financial Matters?
Please contact the office for the fees for weddings. Separate checks should be made payable to the church, organist and musicians, and sexton and delivered to the church office one week prior to the service.
Funerals at St. John’s
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
We live in the hope that there is nothing, not even death, that will separate us from God. And yet, even with this hope, the death of a loved one causes us deep grief. Even Jesus wept openly at the death of his friend Lazarus.
The funeral liturgy at St. John’s follows our Book of Common Prayer service with some of the most beautiful, comforting words ever written. Rev. Jill will meet with families to help plan this service using the form below. She will also preach a homily (sermon) proclaiming our faith in eternal life and the hope of Resurrection; a short personal reflection (approx. 3-5 minutes) may be offered by a family member or friend.
One gift you can give your family in their time of grief is to plan the sacred scripture and music you would like to have at your Celebration of Life; please use this form.
For information on purchasing a burial plot in St. John’s Cemetery or burial costs, please click here.