Baptism is offered for all ages, preceded by conversations with parents for those under 13. It is the celebration of the gift of life and inclusion in the Christian community. Therefore, those desiring it for themselves or their children are expected to be members of our congregation or another for which we serve in the event of family connections.
Our ministers baptize by sprinkling water from the baptismal font. When we baptize infants and small children, we emphasize that God's love comes before any conscious response on our part. The congregation offers its understanding and support to the child and promises to join the parents in showing God's love for all. When adults are baptized, we emphasize that faith also requires a response of commitment on the part of those who choose to be followers of Christ.
The sacrament of Baptism is generally celebrated at the10 AM worship service and may be arranged for the 8:30 AM service by calling the church 973-744-7424 or by contacting Rev. Dave Shaw.
Funerals / Memorials
We acknowledge that we only know a small piece of life. We trust that as we were with God before we were born, so we shall be after we die. We give thanks that God moves with us from life through death to life again.
It is most helpful to us as individuals and to our families, if we provide information about our lives and about our wishes for a funeral or memorial service prior to that information being needed. The church has forms that are useful and keeps the information on file. When the need arises, times for memorial services or funerals need to be cleared with the church prior to any public announcement of them. The officiating clergy meet with family members in preparation for such services.
Traditions are changing. The one-time pattern of a visitation/viewing/wake at a mortuary, followed by a funeral service with the body present at church and committal at a cemetery is still practiced. Currently and more often, we have a memorial service at the church with a reception afterward. This may be preceded or followed by internment of the person’s remains in the church’s memorial garden or at a cemetery.
Please contact the church office for memorial forms, for information about planned giving, and for information about the Essex County Memorial Society, which provides information about costs and alternatives.
Our Centennial/ Memorial Garden
The garden was revitalized in Fall 2013 following the building restoration. The garden has a serene sculpture and benches for reflection.